|City Has New Housing Element|
Published: Friday, 20 July 2012 05:26
In a 4-1 vote the city council approved a new ordinance that will allow more housing in Alameda. The vote brings the city in compliance with a state law that requires that the Island City's housing element — its policy document for meeting housing needs —conform to state standards.
The state is requiring Alameda find space for 2,046 housing units. The state added 374 units to the mix to penalize the city for not complying with California's 1999-2006 housing element requirements. This brought the total to 2,420 housing units the state is now requiring the city to build.
Councilmember Doug DeHaan cast the lone dissenting vote. Matters became contentious when DeHaan accused City Manager John Russo of not giving the residents of Alameda enough notice about the vote that many feel is overturning Measure A — the 1973 law that prohibits developers from building anything other that single-family residences on the Island. New zoning rules, part and parcel to the council's approval, will allow multifamily housing in Alameda for the first time since 1973.
According to City Planning Manager Andrew Thomas the approval not only paves the way for new housing, but it will allow the city to qualify for millions of dollars in state transportation funds. It will also avoid lawsuits that have snagged other communities that have restricted housing development in violation of state law, Thomas said.