Home » Island News

Hearing on SunCal’s new Alameda Point plan tonight

Submitted by on 1, May 10, 2010 – 5:00 am6 Comments

Folks, you’ve got an opportunity at tonight’s Planning Board meeting to sound off on SunCal’s new plans for Alameda Point and on issues you think ought to be addressed in an environmental impact study to be conducted on those plans.

The public meeting is at 7 p.m. today (Monday) in council chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Avenue. And the agenda with all the info for the hearing is here (it’s item 9B).

City staff have outlined a host of concerns about SunCal’s latest development plans, which could include up to 4,845 homes and 4.57 million square feet of commercial space, plus 146 acres of parks. Specifically, they want more information on what type of housing and commercial space will be built where and how they’ll look, what SunCal’s transportation plan is for the development and also the developer’s plan for building an environmentally sustainable development – all things they said the developer told them they’ll wait until after their plan is approved to provide.

“These deficiencies in the Modified OEA (development application) reflect important differences in objectives between the City and SunCal,” staff wrote in a report to the Planning Board. “SunCal is maximizing flexibility and minimizing commitments that could result in future costs and limitations on vertical developers, which could ultimately affect the sales price of land.”

City officials are also looking for more on SunCal’s plans to generate jobs and affordable housing, and to protect endangered least terns and historic buildings at the Point. In an earlier letter to SunCal regarding their latest development application, city officials also questioned some of SunCal’s financial assumptions about the project.

In addition to the hearing on SunCal’s plan – which include a smaller “base project” with 3,712 homes and a “density bonus” project with 4,845 homes (PDFs of those below) – the Planning Board will take your comments on the project’s potential environmental impacts, to be included in a study that would measure the magnitude of those impacts and suggest solutions for dealing with those impacts.

Examples of impacts that could be studied by such a report include construction noise and dust, traffic, pollution, and impacts to a host of other resources, from wildlife to historic buildings. The Planning Board will take comments on the planned environmental impact report through May 22.

Separately, SunCal will be hosting a community open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today in the main branch of the Alameda Free Library, 1550 Oak Street. They’ll meet in Community Room A. At the open house, they’ll discuss their plans for the Point and take community input, specifically on issues affecting the environment. They will also take your comments on their website.

“We need your help and want to work together to make the Alameda Point plan a success for this community. We look forward to your input and answering any questions that you may have,” an e-mail signed SCC Alameda Point LLC said.


  • ct says:

    Speaking of environmental impact, the current issue of “Mother Jones” has a very interesting article titled “Tall Is Beautiful,” about Alameda Point, rethinking population density, and the evolving relationship between land development and our environment’s well-being. It’s essential reading for anyone concerned about climate change.

  • dlm says:

    You mean this article?


    “The corporatization of the California initiative process has been a cancer for a long time, and it’s long past time to put a stop to it.”

  • Richard Bangert says:

    The comment below on SunCal’s solar farm idea is one of several I will submit to the Planning Board regarding the EIR. While a solar farm is an admirable idea for Alameda Point, at this point this idea appears to be more about green washing than green electricity. And readers of the master plan may notice the conspicuous absence of even a mention of rooftop solar, which would not require any land and would be paid for by building owners.

    Northwest Territories Future Solar Farm – The solar farm designation on the Master Plan map should be deleted. The text of the Master Plan does not contain any descriptive language about the size or type of solar farm to be constructed. In the Master Plan, section 3.3.6 Alameda Point – Public Trust (AP-PT), it states, “In the Northwest Territories, to the extent consistent with public trust uses a solar farm may be located.”

    Furthermore, plans for the construction of an electric power facility have not been presented to Alameda Municipal Power. It is unknown whether a solar facility is a viable economic alternative for land use on the Northwest Territories.

    The solar farm facility is impossible to study because of the absence of plans. If a solar farm is going to be studied, then every other permissible use must be studied from boat repair to wetlands restoration and expansion.

    Although many uses for the Northwest Territories have been studied and considered since the announcement of the closing of NAS-Alameda, there are currently no viable business plans that have been approved by the trustee of this land, the city of Alameda. Likewise, the community has not indicated a preference for any specific uses other than a shoreline park along the estuary, Alameda Point Park and the Bay Trail.

  • ct says:


    The current issue would be the May/June issue. I hope you have a chance to read the article.

    I’ve read the blog posting at “Mother Jones” that you provided a link to. When the City Council selected SunCal to develop Alameda Point, the Council should have done its job and put a Measure A exemption on the ballot; instead, they let SunCal handle it.

  • dlm says:

    ct: This is silly. Just consider that the argument you’re using has been rendered moot by the election. There’s no longer a popular vote, and the Council will ultimately have the decision-making power, so I don’t see anything gained in blaming them.

    I read the article in Mother Jones, all two pages of it, and it could have been written about any city anywhere, it’s meaningless, basically just a recitation of factoids about global warming.

    I happened to glance at an article in the Atlantic today, too, something about walkable communities and light rail, written by a man who’s a professor of environmental (something) — and also, a real estate developer. That’s the problem. So many folks are looking to make a buck off fears of climate change, very obviously and not surprisingly, and it’s not realistic to expect Alameda or any other city to enable these blatant greenwashing scams.

  • ct says:


    The fact that the City Council allowed SunCal to handle the ballot initiative isn’t an argument, it’s a fact. The Council, apparently apprehensive about dealing with Measure A, shrank back and let someone else take care of the issue. I would argue that this sort of behavior is symptomatic of a larger, underlying issue: that the City’s approach to governing demonstrates an utter lack of competence, resolve, and leadership.

    Your belief that Josh Harkinson’s article “could have been written about any city anywhere” is indeed a point of concern. If NIMBYs in every city like Alameda prevented infill development like Alameda Point, the result would be increased sprawl as the population grows. The article says, “By 2050, the United States can expect to add as many as 200 million people. … If we keep building in the way we do now, suburbs will gobble up a New Mexico-size amount of open space in the next 40 years. More suburbs mean more freeways and more cars, which means that by mid-century, Americans will clock 7 trillion miles per year — twice as much mileage as we do now.” Is this information really, as you say, “meaningless”?

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.