DOUBTFUL PROMISES: A REPORT TO THE ALAMEDA COMMUNITY ON THE SUNCAL/SHAW HEDGE FUND INITIATIVE (prepared by Arc Ecology for Renewed Hope)
Arc Ecology prepared the report: Doubtful Promises: A Report to the Alameda Community on the SunCal/Shaw Hedge Fund Initiative, which is released to the public today.
more details about the report:
24 September 2009
ALAMEDA – Today Renewed Hope issued “Doubtful Promises : A Report to the Alameda Community on the Suncal/Shaw Hedge Fund Initiative” one day after the initiative’s sponsors submitted signatures hoping to qualify the measure for a 2010 election.
The group’s analysis finds SunCal’s vision of an environmentally sustainable community is missing from the developer-sponsored Alameda Revitalization Initiative.
“Doubtful Promises” explains why Alamedans cannot rely on the Alameda Point Revitalization Initiative to deliver the goods promised by developer SunCal during numerous public presentations it has made to them over the last two years.
According to the 23-page document, the initiative’s content carefully avoids setting any timetables or requirements for any of the projects for Alameda Point development while establishing new rules for governing development that favors the developer and hamstrings the public.
“We don’t think the initiative is going to give us what we have been promised by SunCal,” said Laura Thomas, president of Renewed Hope. “There are too many loopholes in the initiative’s language, nothing compels the developers to build what they showed us in their presentations. They can go back on their promises if it suits them and ignore the desires of the citizenry.”
The problems with the initiative’s language cited in the analysis include:
- The developer will be able to decide the size, mix of uses, open space plan, public facilities, transit options and their timing, overall and within each zoning district. The initiative also removes, with few exceptions, the authority of the planning board and council, to modify or reject permits and it prohibits their review or appeal of permit approvals.
- The initiative also fails to guarantee delivery of specific public benefits or improvements, including those it boasts about, and it would divert scarce city and redevelopment resources from the rest of Alameda.
- The developer would have the right to sell off Alameda Point piece by piece with the entitlements granted under the initiative to any other developers it selects, regardless of their qualifications or intentions.
- An EIR analyzing the environmental impacts of the initiative would not be completed until after the initiative is passed. The ability of an EIR prepared after approval to consider alternatives and serious mitigations would be greatly compromised by the delay.
- Alamedans would no longer have any control or be able to correct any problems without approval of the developers for 30 years.
“The initiative would guarantee the developer with long-term, extremely valuable entitlements without providing certainty that Alamedans would receive any benefits whatsoever.”
Renewed Hope Housing Advocates began in 1999 to promote the redevelopment policies for the Naval Air Station that would include housing for families priced out of the market.
A pdf of the file is available for download.
Bill Smith/Renewed Hope (510) 522-0390
Eve Bach/Arc Ecology (510) 524-1800