Carping about CARP

Alameda’s new draft Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP) (“City Seeks Final Input on Climate Action Plan,” May 16) has a serious problem — it proposes solutions before it examines problems. Alameda will suffer greatly from sea-level rise, and much of the problem will be from the groundwater rise accompanying sea-level rise and precipitation. An extensive article about this problem can be found in the Spring 2019 issue of Bay Nature magazine.

However, CARP doesn’t discuss adaptation until page 48 of its report, after it has already developed proposals the city should follow to prevent global warming.  Furthermore, it is not until page 55 that we learn that the city doesn’t know what the groundwater situation is; a consultant has been hired to find out. 

Among other recommendations, CARP asks the city “in all future land-use and housing-policy decisions,” to “change zoning to allow more multifamily use, reduced parking requirements and increased allowable density while shortening overly lengthy permitting timelines.” 

How do we know that this won’t just put more people in danger of sea-level rise impacts? Based on the maps of sea-level rise in CARP, we might want to start planning for evacuation of portions of the city, rather than densification.  

As a small city, we can’t have much affect on global warming, but we certainly have to adapt to sea-level rise. CARP doesn’t accomplish what we need, and should be put aside until we have a better idea of what actions would benefit Alameda.


Wade Greene