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File #: 2014-470   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/20/2014
Title: Recommendation to Approve the Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point. (Base Reuse 819099)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1- Draft Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point, 2. Exhibit 2 Special Tax Burden Analysis for Alameda Point Development, 3. Presentation
Title
 
Recommendation to Approve the Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point.  (Base Reuse 819099)
 
Body
 
To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
 
From: John A. Russo, City Manager
 
Re: Approve the Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point
 
BACKGROUND
 
On February 4, 2014, the City Council certified an environmental impact report (EIR) and approved a comprehensive zoning ordinance amendment (Zoning Amendment), associated General Plan Amendments, and a Master Infrastructure Plan (MIP) for Alameda Point.  The General Plan and the EIR require that all new development comply with a Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDM Plan) for Alameda Point to mitigate traffic impacts from new development during peak hours and to support the creation of a transit-oriented development. As a result, City staff has prepared a TDM Plan for Alameda Point.
 
The TDM Plan was discussed at the joint Planning Board and Transportation Commission meeting on September 30, 2013, and at the Transportation Commission meeting on December 11, 2013.  Based on feedback from the boards and commissions and the community, City staff and its consultant, Kimley-Horn and Associates (KMA), prepared a draft TDM Plan that was presented to the Planning Board on March 24, 2014 for review and comment.  City staff revised the draft TDM Plan based on comments received from the Planning Board and presented the revised draft to the Transportation Commission on April 23, 2014.  The revised draft TDM Plan is attached as Exhibit 1.  The Transportation Commission recommended approval of the TDM Plan to the City Council and provided a few comments for City Council consideration, which are highlighted below. City staff is requesting that the City Council approve the revised draft TDM Plan. No new development can be allowed at Alameda Point until the TDM Plan is completed and approved by the City Council.
 
DISCUSSION
 
As required by the City's General Plan and the EIR, the City must prepare a TDM Plan for future development at Alameda Point to help create a transit-oriented community and to mitigate potential impacts from increased automobile traffic.
 
TDM refers to an array of strategies, measures, and services which, individually or combined into a comprehensive program, creates the envisioned transit-oriented development at Alameda Point; achieves the City of Alameda's General Plan goals to reduce automobile trips, and in particular, targets the reduction of Single Occupant Vehicle (SOV) trips; and mitigates potential traffic impacts. TDM strategies are designed to change travel behavior (when, where, and by what means people travel) by using combinations of incentives, disincentives, and convenient transit services.  
 
Consistent with the General Plan, the performance objectives of the TDM Plan are to reduce peak hour trips generated from Alameda Point, as projected in the EIR, by 10 percent for new residential development and 30 percent for new commercial development.
 
The EIR requires that all development projects at Alameda Point comply with the TDM Plan as a mitigation measure for the transportation impacts identified in the EIR.  Beyond mitigating the potential traffic impacts of Alameda Point development, TDM promotes regional goals that include reducing traffic congestion on the Bay Area's routes of regional significance; reducing the primary source of mobile emissions; improving safety, and thus increasing mobility, for those who bicycle, walk or take public transit; conserving energy; and improving the health of the population by encouraging physically active forms of transportation.
 
The property owners, residents, and employers of Alameda Point will be required to fund, comply with, and collaboratively manage, monitor and continuously improve upon a TDM program that mitigates traffic impacts as well as improves the quality of life for those who live and work at Alameda Point.  The primary components of the draft TDM Plan include:
 
1.      Transit Services: The TDM Plan addresses the provision of public transit or privately operated vehicles primarily for convenient, frequent, and direct connection to the regional rapid transit systems aimed at supplementing, complementing, and expanding AC Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) services.
2.      Car and Bicycle Share Programs: The TDM Plan includes the provision of a collective system of vehicles and bicycles accessible to employees who use transit and residents who do not have access to a vehicle for business or personal purposes.
3.      Parking Management Strategy: In concert with the development standards regulating private parking included in the recently approved Zoning Amendment, the Parking Management Strategy in the TDM Plan outlines a plan for the public supply of parking that is designed to utilize public and private parking spaces efficiently and encourage alternate modes of transportation.  The careful management of parking supply and pricing can be very effective in influencing parking utilization and mode of travel.
 
4.      Support Services: The TDM Plan includes a variety of services and incentives that support and encourage the use of programs such as free AC Transit Easy-Passes, carpool matching service, and a guaranteed ride home in the event of emergencies for transit users.
 
5.      Transportation Management Association (TMA). The TMA will oversee the ongoing implementation of the TDM Plan, including compliance strategies prepared by individual employers and resident associations, and is funded by special tax revenue generated annually by Alameda Point property owners.  The TMA Board of Directors is likely to include some combination of representatives of the following organizations: Alameda Point employers, tenant associations, Homeowner Associations, and developers; City of Alameda staff; the Transportation Commission, and/or regional transit agencies.
 
6.      Annual Monitoring and Reporting. The TDM Plan tasks the TMA with annual monitoring and reporting of TDM Plan performance in meeting the established trip reduction goals.  The monitoring will result in refinements and modifications to the Plan as development occurs. Monitoring will  use a combination of survey instruments; traffic counts; utilization surveys of pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities and services; and employee and resident surveys. This approach to monitoring and enforcement results in a system of financial awards and penalties because the length of the cycle and the cost associated with introducing and monitoring new programs is an incentive to implement robust TDM strategies and packages of complementary services from the beginning.
 
7.      Compliance with the TDM Plan.  As required by the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (MMRP) from the EIR, and the recently updated Alameda Point Zoning, all new development at Alameda Point will be required to comply with the TDM Plan as part of any Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) between the City and a developer, and as a condition of approval for any planning approval, including Development Plan, use permit, or design review.  Any DDA and condition of approval will require that all property owners pay a special tax to fund the Plan and require through covenants, conditions and restrictions, or other enforceable real property interest that run with the land, that all commercial tenant associations, major employers, residential tenant association, and homeowner's associations join the TMA, file a Compliance Strategy with the TMA consistent with this Plan, implement their Compliance Strategy, and refine it, as necessary.
 
8.      Modifications to the TDM Plan.  The TMA will be responsible for managing the successful implementation of the TDM Plan with annual reporting to the City's Transportation Commission.  The actual implementation of the TDM Plan requires flexibility to respond to evolving and unexpected development, demographic, market and technological conditions.  As a result, the TMA has the discretion to implement the TDM Plan in substantial conformance with the intent and strategies outlined in the TDM Plan, but is not required to adhere literally to every proposed aspect of the TDM Plan.  It is expected and necessary that the TMA make modifications to the TDM Plan as new development occurs and more information exists about the type, amount and location of new development and its associated traffic patterns.  
 
That said, the TMA must perform a 5-year review with the City Council and Transportation Commission, to determine if any amendments to the major components of the TDM Plan are warranted.  Additionally, the TMA can request approval by the City Council (with a recommendation from the Transportation Commission) of a major modification to the TDM Plan at any other time deemed necessary by the TMA.
 
A detailed summary of the TMA provided services and programs in the near- and long-term are provided in Table 1 on page 19 of the draft TDM Plan. The TDM Plan provides flexibility to a) adapt to future phasing of Alameda Point land uses; b) implement transit services starting at the commencement of development and introduce larger and more comprehensive services as needed by development; and c) use annual monitoring of performance as a mechanism for continuous improvement of individual employer compliance strategies and TMA-provided services.  Collectively, the property owners, residents and tenants of Alameda Point will fund, implement, and direct the management of the TDM Plan and be accountable for the TDM Plan's success.  As stated above, every development at Alameda Point will be required to comply with, and provide an annual financial contribution to fund the management and implementation of the TDM Plan.   
 
The TDM Plan also includes an annual operating budget for implementing the TDM Plan and providing the services discussed above during its initial stages of implementation and at buildout of the proposed development.  A summary of this budget is provided in Table 6 on page 48 of the draft TDM Plan.  The capital costs associated with the TDM Plan are included in the recently approved MIP.  Ultimately, the annual operating budget will be funded through a portion of the special tax revenues generated from property owners at Alameda Point, parking charges, and parking enforcement violation fines.  During the initial stages of implementation, funding may come from grants [i.e, staffing assistance monies from Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which the City may receive later this year], lease revenues, developer contributions, as well as some initial special tax or assessment revenues.  The TDM Plan estimates the annual operating budget for the initial phase at approximately $360,000 and for buildout at approximately $1 million.  These budgets are net of parking charges and enforcement revenues. The annual operating budget will grow and change as the TDM Plan evolves over time with the phasing of development.
 
Based on the development program contained in the EIR (i.e., 1,425 housing units and 5.5 million square feet of commercial development), the City evaluated the feasibility of funding the projected TDM Plan budget through special tax revenue (Exhibit 2). The analysis projected approximately $14 million in annual special tax revenue to be generated from development at Alameda Point at buildout, which is significantly greater than the approximately $1 million required for the TDM annual operating budget at buildout. In the early years, before significant development has occurred and special tax revenue is limited, other revenues sources will be required to help fund the TDM Plan, as described above.
 
Exhibit 2 also provides examples of how much prototypical residential and commercial developments will be required to pay in total special tax burden, and specifically, towards the TDM Plan.  These estimates are based on certain assumptions about average assessed value for residential and commercial development and are intended to illustrate how much a particular development may have to pay in special taxes. For instance, a housing unit averaging a $370,000 market value would be required to pay approximately $3,000 per year in total special tax and approximately $200 per year for funding of the TDM Plan, or a 100,000-square-foot commercial development averaging $325 per square foot in market value would be required to pay $195,000 per year in total special tax and roughly $14,000 per year for funding of the TDM Plan.
 
The amount of special tax revenue not used for funding of the TDM Plan will be needed to finance infrastructure improvements; municipal services, if required; abatement of geological hazards; and other potential uses, if necessary.  While it is crucial to maximize the use of these special tax revenues for infrastructure given the significant cost of required infrastructure at Alameda Point, other sources of funds will be required to pay for the full infrastructure costs, such as land sale proceeds, developer contributions and development impact fee revenues.  All parcels at Alameda Point will be required to pay for their fair-share of the full infrastructure costs through these potential revenues sources.
 
As mentioned above, on April 23, 2014, the Transportation Commission completed their final review of the TDM Plan for Alameda Point and recommended that the City Council approve the Plan.  The Commission also passed along the following three additional comments for City Council consideration:
 
1.      The Commission advised that staff and the City Council carefully consider the proposed special tax burden being proposed for development at Alameda Point to ensure that the cumulative tax burden does not over burden or adversely affect the quality of the future development;
 
Staff Response: City staff agrees that as development projects are implemented at Alameda Point, the City should carefully consider the amount of the total special tax burden to ensure that it is not discouraging new development.  The maximum tax burden projected in Exhibit 2 is estimated to be supportable in the market based on the professional judgment of the City's economics consultant.  
 
2.      The Commission advised that the City Council consider a requirement that the Alameda Point TMA include a seat for each of the regional transportation agencies (i.e., AC Transit, WETA, and BART).
 
Staff Response: While City staff agrees that all or some of the regional agencies should be represented on the TMA board and consulted as part of the implementation of the TDM Plan, staff recommends encouraging the representation of all agencies instead of requiring it in order to provide staff with some flexibility in forming the TMA. Certain agencies may not want to be involved at that level of implementation and a requirement may preclude certain implementation options, such as consolidating west-end TMAs.
 
3.      The Commission recommended that the City consider preparing guidelines for use by the TMA designed to ensure that the TDM Plan produces cost effective trip management strategies and a well-articulated set of performance measures that can be used for the annual evaluation of the program.
 
Staff Response: City staff believes that the TDM Plan provides significant guidance for the TMA in terms of trip management strategies and performance measures and that formal adopted City guidelines are not necessary.  That said, with the help of MTC grant funds that staff expects to have for implementation of the TDM Plan, there is significant additional detailed work that will be performed by staff and its consultants in implementing the TDM Plan that will help guide the Alameda Point TMA once it is formed.
 
FINANCIAL IMPACT
 
The funds for this activity are budgeted in the Base Reuse Fund (Fund 858).
 
MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE
 
This action is consistent with the Transportation Element of the City's General Plan, including Policy 4.1.6.a.
 
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW
 
The Alameda City Council certified a Final EIR for the Alameda Point Project on February 4, 2014, in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), Public Resources Code section 21000 et seq. and adopted and incorporated into the project all of the mitigation measures for the project that are within the responsibility and jurisdiction of the City, including this TDM Plan to mitigate traffic impacts.
RECOMMENDATION
 
Approve by motion the Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Ott, Chief Operating Officer - Alameda Point
 
Financial Impact section reviewed,
Fred Marsh, Finance Director
 
Exhibits:  
1.      Draft Transportation Demand Management Plan for Alameda Point, dated April 3, 2014
2.      Special Tax Burden Analysis for Alameda Point Development