If you're interested in shaping what is developed at Alameda Point, Monday's Planning Board meeting is for you! It's likely one of the most important Alameda Point planning meetings that will take place.

The board will take public comment and discuss what types of businesses, housing and recreational uses citizens want at Alameda Point and where we should allow them. If you're interested, there's a great PowerPoint presentation that outlines a concept for moving forward near the Seaplane Lagoon (link provided below). While we on the planning board are assigned to turn concepts and ideas into zoning code and design guidelines, Monday's meeting is just about the concepts and ideas -- these are the big decisions.

Don't let perceptions about the wonkiness of these discussions deter you. Your comments don't have to be in planner-speak. They can be anything from "No fast food at the Point" to "buildings shouldn't be bigger than the USS Hornet." The more people who participate in this process, the better plan we get.

We need your input, and giving it couldn't be easier. To get the mental juices flowing, here are some examples to consider:

  • are there uses, like shopping malls, that you think should or should not be considered? If so, where?; and

  • are there locations that are alright for some uses but not others? Such as: "Housing should never be on the water" or "a mix of uses on the water is preferred" or "no sea of parking lots."


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    Concepts are appreciated too. Here are some examples:

  • "Uses that encourage people to hang out by the water;"

  • "I'm less concerned about traffic as long as there's a lot of parking;" and

  • "Be really flexible. No plan, just deal with development one project at a time."

    On Monday, just about everything is fair game, this is essentially the beginning of a conversation that will continue until at least January. But be aware, there are some things that won't be discussed, such as how many housing units or how much commercial space. Those issues are not in the zoning and not on tap for Monday.

    There are two planning documents that will have a great impact on what is developed at Alameda Point, and they will provide the focus of the discussion.

    1. The "Town Center" plan, which will set development guidelines in a detailed way. This plan area is centered on the northeast corner of the Seaplane Lagoon and includes the entire waterfront and the corridor along Atlantic Avenue from Main Street to the water. Think Park Street or Old Oakland.

    2. The Alameda Point Zoning Code, which defines what types of businesses and housing can be built in each area of the Point and some of the characteristics about what the buildings that are built should meet (maximum height, how close to the sidewalk, etc.).

    Why is this so important? Because beyond the "Town Center" plan, there is very little master planning being done for the much of the Point. Developments will be considered and approved on a case-by-case basis, so the zoning will be the only document that provides direction for planning. For the next decade or so, the zoning will guide staff and the community in determining what should be built and where. So getting it right the first time is important.

    The good news: attending the meeting is not required. You can send your comments (they can just be bullet points or even a couple of short, grammatically incorrect sentences!) to City Planner Andrew Thomas at Athomas@alamedaca.gov.

    Here are links below to maps, descriptions and presentations that will be useful for Monday's meeting:

  • Alameda Point Planning Guide: http://bit.ly/1a3MAEU

  • zoning overview map: bit.ly/1fTpZUh

  • proposed descriptions: bit.ly/19u8YGA

  • "Town Center" presentation: bit.ly/196Rl1Q

    John Knox White is a member of Alameda's Planning Board.

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