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Council to consider housing plan for animal shelter, corp yard property

Submitted by on 1, September 7, 2010 – 4:50 amNo Comment

The City Council will consider a proposal to allow a developer to build more than two dozen homes on land now occupied by the Alameda Animal Shelter and the city’s corporation yard at a meeting it’s holding Tuesday night.

City staff is recommending the council allow them to negotiate with Warmington Homes to acquire and develop the sites, at 1590 and 1616 Fortmann Way, in order to build between 25 and 27 single-family homes there. The sites are adjacent to the Grand Marina development Warmington is building now.

The San Ramon developer would study the site and get back to the council by December about whether they’d like to negotiate with the city to acquire and develop the site. Separately, the developer would work to acquire a a 4.1 acre Pennzoil Products Company tank farm at the former of Grand Street and Clement Avenue to extend their development onto that site.

The council will be sitting as the Community Improvement Commission, which oversees redevelopment of the Northern Waterfront and other areas, excluding Alameda Point. If they approve the deal and it moves forward, the city would seek other sites for the shelter and yard.

Warmington recently won permission from the council to reduce the number of “affordable” units it must build for low-income residents in the 40-unit Grand Marina development from 10 to six after it said it couldn’t afford to build more. The developer has sold eight units in the development so far and has recently pulled building permits to construct 10 more, city staff wrote in a report to the CIC.

The developer earned the ire of elected officials and residents of the Island’s Wedge neighborhood when representatives offered a plan to move five affordable units out of the Grand Marina development onto the school district’s former Island High property, where it proposed building a 36-unit apartment complex.

City staffers said they see the move as part of their effort to find better uses for property along the Island’s Northern waterfront. City leaders okayed plans in 2008 and 2009 intended to shift uses on the property from industrial and warehousing to residential, commercial, office, marina and open space. The area’s boundaries are the Estuary, Sherman Street, Buena Vista Avenue and Grand Street.

Staffers wrote that they have set aside $376,000 in the city’s budget this year to study the relocation of the animal shelter and the corp yard.

Separately, Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant is set to offer presentations to the council on the city’s records retention and destruction policy and executive management compensation. City officials recently said they destroy e-mails after 30 days, and the recent blowup over Fire Chief David Kapler’s use of city gas for his personal vehicles has prompted questions about employment deals cut for the city’s executive staff.

Council members will also be asked to okay special counsel to handle a federal lawsuit SunCal Companies filed against the city after city leaders voted to effectively fire them as master developer for Alameda Point. Council approval is needed whenever legal expenses are expected to top $35,000.

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