Alameda Point: Matarrese still in support

Almost from the get-go, some folks have tried to claim it was untrue (I guess that I was making it up, despite linking to his statement), and then again at the end of last week, the ever-correct Jane Smythe claimed that Matarrese had changed his mind because his statement was no longer on the web. At the same time, Don Roberts celebrated 20 years of talking about things without knowing what he’s talking about with special guest Pat Bail! Pat repeated the canard that Frank Matarrese had seen the light about Alameda Point because of “All” the opposition to the project (part of the “one-person, one-community-group” strategy to defeat the Point). The ironic proof? Matarrese’s website no longer presents his announcement of his support.

Matarrese’s website, like a certain other news-themed internet site, doesn’t archive old posts, and only holds a single news item at any time. (Last week, and still today) it was “I’m having a community meeting!”) Which means that everytime he updates his site, the last post disappears into the ether. Using the logic that means that Matarrese no longer supports the Alameda Point plan, one would also have to say that Don Roberts has backed away from last Wednesday’s fact-challenged posting: “Jean Sweeney says Sun Cal’s Proposed Actions are Unconscionable” as a visit to his site finds it no longer there.

So I contacted Councilmember Matarrese, who sent me the original statement and reiterated that as of May 22 (when his email was sent) he’s still supporting the plan. Here’s his full statement:

Alameda voters will have a unique chance to approve a plan and development agreement for re-use of the former Alameda Naval Air Station now known as Alameda Point.  Suncal, the developer currently in exclusive negotiations with the City to develop Alameda Point, submitted language for a ballot initiative that will let the voters of Alameda have the final say on the plan for the revitaliation of Alameda Point. I reviewed and evaluated the pluses and minuses of the plan as submitted for voter approval and have decided to support it.  In my estimation, it provides the significant benefits for all of Alameda.

This plan ensures that Alameda Point will be cleaned up to a higher standard than the Navy is required to meet.  This will ensure that Alameda Point is safe once and for all.  The plan includes a variety of public amenities for us all to enjoy and benefit from, including a new ferry terminal, a 58-acre city sports complex, 145 acres of new parks, a new library, a school site, walking, hiking and biking trails. A key component of the plan is voter consideration of an amendment to city Charter section XXVI, to allow the building of condominiums or other multiple unit dwellings, but capping the number at 4826 units and restricting height and parking per city zoning regulations.  These amendments only apply to Alameda Point and do not overturn Measure A development restrictions in the rest of Alameda in any way.

Additionally, this plan includes the potential for creating 9000 jobs replacing a good number of the jobs lost when the based closed in busiesses that will strengthen Alameda’s economy.

We have studied base re-use for almost 12 years now. We cannot afford to let the base exist in its current condition any longer.  Aging buildings present safety hazards.  Aging infrastructure at Alameda Point is a growing burden for the city and us as taxpayers.  This revitalization plan is fiscally neutral – meaning it will pay for itself and does not require a subsidy from the city.  Over time, we expect that a revitalized Alameda Point will result in new tax revenues that will help stabilize the city and school distrit budget to protect programs, services and facilities that we all rely on and value.

I encourage you all to do your own evaluation of the plan.  After close review, I think you will agree that this plan is the result of years of careful planning and deserves our support.

{Edited to fix text errors}