Alameda Landing

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened this week.

Welcome to this year’s kickoff edition of The Broad Brush, your 60-second news review. Here’s what happened this week.

State Controller John Chiang’s office recently released 2012 pay, pension and health cost data for California’s city and county employees, offering a detailed breakdown of costs by both employee and department. The Alamedan posted some of the key details Chiang offered up on Alameda’s municipal workforce in this graphic.

Homeowners who will move into Alameda Landing will likely pay more than residents in other parts of the city to live in their new neighborhood.

On Tuesday night, the City Council approved formation of one of two planned community facilities districts that will tax Landing residents to pay for streets, sidewalks and other necessities a new community requires without taxing the existing community to finance it.

The action involved one of two districts that will encompass 45 acres of property near the Posey Tube that the U.S. Navy transferred to the city.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, 60-second news review. Here’s what happened this week.

Residents and business owners in the new Alameda Landing development may pay thousands of dollars more in taxes for roads, sewers and police protection than their other Island neighbors.

The City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to move forward on a pair of proposed special districts encompassing the Alameda Landing development that, if approved, would allow the city to levy additional taxes to pay for the facilities and services; Councilwoman Lena Tam was absent. A public hearing and potential city approval of the proposed districts is set for January 7.

Alamedans have been known to be less than enthusiastic about the idea of chain stores on the Island. But people who stopped and shopped at Alameda’s new Target store Tuesday night were quick to declare their excitement that the discount retailer had opened an outlet in town.

“I love it,” said Meka Brown, who was strolling the toy aisle during the store’s VIP opening Tuesday evening. “I like that I don’t have to drive to Richmond or San Rafael.”

Monday’s Planning Board hearing on the design of new buildings that will house an In-N-Out Burger, Chase bank branch and Safeway gas station near the foot of the Webster Tube didn’t pack City Hall with residents who lined up to air concerns about crime and traffic the way an earlier discussion about drive-through lanes for the restaurant and bank branch did.

But while the cast of characters who participated in Monday’s discussion may have been smaller, the nearly two-hour conversation about the buildings’ design and other issues was wide-ranging.

For years, Alameda has served as a destination for onetime city dwellers who prize its vintage homes, tree-lined streets and not-too-suburban feel. But almost as often as not, Alamedans leave the Island to buy the things they need.

The in-progress development of the long-awaited Alameda Landing project near the Webster Tube – a project that includes a 291,000-square-foot Target-anchored shopping center – has stirred hopes at City Hall and citywide that long-desired retailers offering clothing, high-end grocery, paper goods and more will finally come to the Island. But retail experts and city staffers who have been working to bring stores to town said drawing them requires a carefully crafted admixture of demographics, relationships, timing, space – along with a little luck.

Alameda’s Planning Board unanimously approved a drive-through and late-night hours for an In-N-Out Burger near the foot of the Webster Tube on Monday – provided the city can win Caltrans’ approval for a crosswalk intended to protect pedestrians who might otherwise jaywalk into traffic exiting the tube.

The board also okayed a drive-through for a proposed Chase bank branch on the 2.3-acre “gateway” parcel and a new, 24-hour Safeway gas station that staffers have said is a prerequisite for the Pleasanton-based grocery chain planting a new store in the Alameda Landing development.

Alameda’s Planning Board approved the design of the remainder of a Target-anchored shopping center that’s being built near the Webster Tube – the final administrative approval the project needed before construction could start.

The Target store is under construction and slated to open in October, and developer Catellus is hoping the remainder of the shopping center will be open for business in the summer of 2014.

“We’ve been working on this for many years,” Catellus’s Sean Whiskeman said.