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Island Talkback: Supporting the Calthorpe plan

Submitted by on 1, November 5, 2010 – 12:03 amNo Comment

By Diane Lichtenstein

The grassroots organization HOMES (Housing Opportunities Make Economic Sense) was a strong supporter of Measure B, the Alameda Point Development Initiative, in the February 2010 election. For us this was never a vote about a company, but about a plan, and we thought the plan developed by Peter Calthorpe for SunCal addressed the seven challenges and issues put forth in Alameda’s General Plan, Chapter 9 amendment for Alameda Point, of:

• Seamless integration of Alameda Point with the rest of the City.

• Fostering a vibrant new neighborhood.

• Maximizing water front accessibility.

• De-emphasizing the automobile and making new development compatible with transportation capacity.

• Ensuring economic development.

• Creating a mixed-use environment.

• Establishing neighborhood centers.

We still do like the plan. The redevelopment of Alameda Point could provide the opportunity to make housing once again affordable for more Alamedans. It could bring a broad range of jobs, a housing/jobs balance that would help us solve our transportation challenges.

Even though it seems like déjà vu all over again, all over again, we will support the effort by the city to move forward on the redevelopment. We hope their public outreach truly does engage a cross section of the community, as was so thoroughly done at the start of this endeavor in the early 1990s with extensive public input that resulted in the creation of the Community Reuse Plan and Chapter Nine of the Alameda General Plan, and that they take the time to listen to all opinions to create a plan that benefits the whole community. We pledge to be actively engaged in the process through all phases in order to achieve our goal of housing opportunities for all Alamedans.

As for SunCal, we were disappointed in their deafness and insensitivity to local guidance and desires during the campaign and find their behavior since then disgraceful. Moving forward, we encourage everyone to set personalities and emotions aside, and strive to find a solution for Alameda Point that will be in our – the citizens of Alameda – best interest.

Got a burning issue? Then talk back! Opinion pieces can be sent for consideration to michele@theislandofalameda.com.

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