Development

Alameda's planners are seeking permission to make changes that they say would make it cheaper and easier for local homeowners to construct improvements.

The Planning Board will consider the proposed changes tonight.

The last time the Alameda Housing Authority debuted an affordable housing project specifically for seniors, George Bush was president — George H.W. Bush. Independence Village at Webster Street and Atlantic Avenue opened in 1991.

“To develop affordable senior units is extremely financially challenging,” authority Executive Director Vanessa Cooper said in a written statement. Even though plans the former Del Monte warehouse will add just 31 housing units for low-income seniors to the city’s stock, they represent an important opportunity, she said.

Things have been relatively quiet lately in the battle over the Harbor Bay Club. In the last year, there have been no hearings or votes taken on the proposal to move the Bay Farm Island athletic club to a new site near the Harbor Bay Business Park.

But behind the scenes, proponents and opponents have been hard at work solidifying support, refining their messages and contacting city officials in anticipation of when the development plan comes before the Planning Board.

Alameda’s development-watchers have a new tool to help them keep track of development proposals and construction projects on the Island.

The city has partnered with San Francisco-based app developer BuildingEye to create an interactive map that will make it easier to find planning, building and code enforcement data the city had previously offered in database form.

The Planning Board will consider approvals tonight for a 31-unit apartment building for low-income seniors proposed to be built as part of the Del Monte warehouse development.

The board will consider approving the development plan and design for a three-story apartment building on the corner of Buena Vista Avenue and Sherman Street, adjacent to the Del Monte warehouse. The board will also consider a recommendation to the City Council to give the Alameda Housing Authority a nearly half-acre parcel the city owns there to build on; the rest of the land needed for the project will be provided by developer Tim Lewis Communities.

With a pair of agenda items going before the Planning Board on Monday, the city’s staff is attempting a grand bargain of sorts that would allow the far West End of the Island to begin its transformation into something other than a shuttered military base.

This bargain must not only prove acceptable in a political climate driven by residents’ concerns about how long it takes them to get through the Posey Tube in the morning, it also needs to stay in compliance with 30-plus years of federal, state and local laws and agreements that govern housing development in Alameda.

 
An eagle-eyed regular reader who noticed that we hadn't updated our development map since December asked if we could revise and repost it. Well, ask and ye shall receive. Here's an update of our popular map, along with an updated chart (attached) listing developments that are both proposed and in progress as well as sites that could someday hold housing.

Authors of a new analysis claim that slow housing growth is a cause of rising rents, saying the nation’s least affordable housing markets are the ones where new housing permits are not keeping up with population growth.

The analysis from home listing site Zillow says rental affordability is “as bad as it’s ever been in the U.S.” due in part to a lack of new, affordable units to meet demand. It lists San Francisco and San Jose as two of the least affordable metropolitan areas in the country; Oakland – which has thousands of new homes in the works – apparently wasn’t studied.

In today’s alert, we’ve got a study session on some proposed Clement Avenue townhomes, forward movement on Fire Station 3 and a discussion on the city’s density bonus ordinance.

The developer behind one of the most prominent, most litigated projects in Alameda has restarted the permit application process. Some key details have changed since his last push, according to newly available documents.