Alameda Point among the nuttiness

After a city council meeting that wended it’s way through weirdness, the ARRA (city council in another guise) gave comments on SunCal’s Alameda Point plan…and guess what:

Not one councilmember spoke out in opposition to the plan, instead, comments were made on issues around the edges, but not one person cited the housing numbers, the commercial square footage, the overall plan, as a problem. They of course have a number of “outs” most significantly the desire for a transportation plan that they can support.

Only councilmember deHaan raised issues with the overall assumptions, others asked for back up of the assumptions. deHaan’s key point appears to be based on statements around parking restrictions, which he claimed Alameda’s existing parking disproves the transporation planners assumptions.

Unfortunately, Alameda’s current parking situation–plentiful in low-transit usage bay farm) and much less plentiful along the heavily used Santa Clara corridor—sucked a lot of the wind from his argument, apologies his “real world example,” that apparently disproves all transportation planning research to the contrary.

The earlier meeting was extremely odd. During a discussion about a General Plan amendment at the old Chevy’s building, deHaan started arguing with one of the appealants about why she didn’t want to buy a building he thought was perfect for her business. He kept saying, “But I have a brouchure that says….” Turned out the brochure was wrong, the building wasn’t what he thought.

In the end, he decided to make a well-reasoned plea for not conditioning land if it’s not going to get built right away, but then oddly tried to tie Matarrese to it from his planning board days (is this a precursor to the next two years before the mayoral election?)

At one point, various councilmembers (Tam and Johnson specifically) appeared to be trying make sure that this specific business was worth changing the general plan for. Questions like “How many of your employees are from Alameda” and “Have you looked in other parts of town” were batted around. It’s nice that they care, but shouldn’t we have a higher standard for amending our General Plan?

Given that it’s not the council’s business to help people buy buildings, council them on which properties are appropriate for them, and double check the alameda-ness of prospective business, this discussion went on way too long, discussing issues that had nothing to do with the decision that was made. (easily 30-45 minutes).

The discussion on theater finances included the phrase “Slumpy times” when referring to the economic climate. The discussion of transportation plans found Gilmore talking about jumpy bus lanes (there was an Australian, add-a-Y to everything theme):

I think this might be what she was thinking:

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And Matarrese had his own moments during the discussion on Alameda Point where he clarified that the master plan, which hasn’t even started looking at the level of building design, make sure and not include any outside dining, because it’s cold out on the Point. Phew, I managed to work them all in there.

All in all, an entertaining evening.

(See what happens when the most important items on the agenda–the sale of AP&’s telecom happened after Alameda Point starting around 11:30–I get punchy and start highlighting the nutty bits)

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