The City Council on Tuesday tackled the impacts of anticipated sea level rise at Alameda Point – and specifically, the task of figuring out how much protection to erect, and when.
“You’re essentially buying an insurance policy. And the City Council needs to decide how much you want to pay up front, and how much you want to pay over time,” Alameda Point Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Ott said.
City Council members are calling for more transparency as the city selects developers for Alameda Point, saying the public should be given more of an opportunity for involvement in the process.
City staffers have been moving a mountain of paper this year to prepare Alameda Point for development in 2014. But on Saturday they mounted their bicycles, leading more than 100 cyclists on a three-hour tour intended to help them visualize the city’s plans.
The City Council will be considering a pair of key decisions Tuesday with implications for the both the near-term and farther-flung future of Alameda Point.
The council will consider whether to hire a new company to manage and lease all of the city’s property – including Alameda Point – and also, whether to approve a proposed list of evaluation criteria for assessing development proposals for the former Navy base.
On Tuesday, the City Council will hold a closed-door discussion to consider proposals to purchase chunks of Alameda Point.
The traffic that development at Alameda Point will – or won’t – create was the central focus of Monday’s Planning Board hearing on a draft report detailing the potential environmental and other impacts of the proposed development scheme.
The hearing was the first of two intended to offer the public the chance to weigh in on whether the environmental impact report adequately addresses the potential traffic, wildlife and other impacts of 1,425 homes and 5 million square feet of office space at Alameda Point, which would put about 3,400 new residents and 8,900 jobs on 878 acres of the former Naval Air Station. A second hearing is scheduled for September 25.
One of the many challenges to be faced by the city and developers seeking to revitalize Alameda Point will be rising seas. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last estimated that the world’s mean sea level could rise by between 7 and 23 inches by 2099 (new estimates are due in just a few weeks); state-level estimates put sea level rise on California’s coasts as high as 69 inches by the turn of the next century.
Proposed development at Alameda Point and elsewhere on the Island could back up traffic at a host of major intersections – in the Park Street business district, on the East End and in Oakland.
The finding was part of a draft study detailing the development’s potential impact on traffic, wildlife, air and water quality and a host of other items that was released by the city this week. The public has until October 21 to review and comment on the 1,000-page document and whether it adequately addresses the impact the development could have on the Island; public hearings are scheduled for Monday and September 25.
Many moons ago, we asked our readers what questions they had about Alameda Point, and what information they were lacking. Several of you asked for maps - of the buildings marked for preservation and demolition, and also, of the toxics that remain. Among other things contained in the 1,000-page environmental impact report released by the city this week is a map of all the cleanup areas at the Point, along with a list and a few pages of narrative that explains what's going on at each. We've pulled those from the report and are posting them here for your easy reference.
Alameda's Planning Board and the public got an opportunity Wednesday night to weigh in on ambitious plans to activate Alameda Point's waterfront and to create a town center city staffers hope will jump-start revitalization efforts.
It was a lot to consider. The plan, prepared by the urban design firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, envisions everything from housing, commercial development and retail shops to restaurants and recreation in the area surrounding a lagoon once used by the Navy to taxi seaplanes into hangers at the former Naval Air Station.
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