‘SunCal has cured its default’
City officials announced late Tuesday night that SunCal is no longer in default of its exclusive deal to negotiate a development agreement at Alameda Point and that they are moving forward with plans to study the environmental impact of redeveloping the former Naval base.
Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant said she’d be sending SunCal’s reps a letter today with a series of questions about transportation, affordable housing, financial issues and SunCal’s assertion that they may seek to use state and local affordable housing laws to increase the size of their development. But those issues will be worked out in the city and SunCal’s weekly negotiating sessions, she said.
“Just so everyone is clear: This is a letter asking for further qualification and clarification on their application. This acknowledges that SunCal has cured their default,” Gallant told the City Council in the last moments of their meeting Tuesday night.
City officials said they are also getting set to notify the public that they are preparing an environmental impact report that will lay out impacts the development could cause and potential solutions for dealing with those impacts. A public meeting to discuss what should be studied for the document is set on the Planning Board’s calendar for May 10.
City staff has said the report will take about a year and cost roughly $1 million to process.
Gallant’s announcement followed another of what have become increasingly bitter public exchanges between city leaders and the developer that seem to more closely resemble scenes from a failing marriage than negotiations for a major land deal. For example, SunCal’s chief operating officer, Frank Faye, claimed that his company was paying half of Gallant’s salary through an escrow account it has established with the city to cover certain predevelopment costs. Gallant denied that the company was helping to pay her salary.
Faye and members of the council also got into a long and heated back and forth about SunCal’s decision to moved forward with an election instead of submitting a Measure A compliant plan that seeks to use state and local affordable housing laws to expand the number of homes it can build to what they asked the voters for. (City officials are set to ask SunCal to pay the election tab.) Faye insisted the developer would never have gone to the ballot if the city had enacted its so-called “density bonus” law before it had to go to the ballot – and he said the developer looked into taking its Measure B off the ballot after the city okayed the law in December but discovered it couldn’t.
City officials also said they are working to set up a website that will offer the city’s own report-outs of their weekly negotiating sessions with SunCal, plus documents, public meeting announcements and more. Deputy City Manager Jennifer Ott said the site should go live at the end of this week and that it will be available by linking off the city’s web page.
SunCal set up its own web page with similar content in March, and they uploaded a series of once-confidential financial and other documents last week.