File #: 2014-652   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 6/23/2014
Title: Public Workshop to Discuss a Draft Master Plan and Development Plan (PLN14-0059) for the Rehabilitation, Reuse, and Redevelopment of the Former Del Monte Warehouse Site Located at 1501 Buena Vista Avenue
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Del Monte Draft Master Plan, 2. Exhibit 2 - Del Monte Development Plan, 3. Exhibit 3 - Draft Supplemental Negative Declaration, 4. Exhibit 4 - Public Comment
Public Workshop to Discuss a Draft Master Plan and Development Plan (PLN14-0059) for the Rehabilitation, Reuse, and Redevelopment of the Former Del Monte Warehouse Site Located at 1501 Buena Vista Avenue
To:            Honorable President and
            Members of the Planning Board
From:         Andrew Thomas
City Planner
Date:            June 23, 2014
Re:      Public Workshop to Discuss a Draft Master Plan and Development Plan (PLN14-0059) for the Rehabilitation, Reuse, and Redevelopment of the Former Del Monte Warehouse Site Located at 1501 Buena Vista Avenue      
Tim Lewis Communities and the project applicant's team of consultants, including BAR Architects of San Francisco, VerPlanck Historic Consultants, and CBG Engineers, are proposing a Master Plan for the rehabilitation, reuse, and redevelopment of the former Del Monte Warehouse site located at 1501 Buena Vista Avenue.  The draft Master Plan is available for public review on the city website at <> and attached as Exhibit 1 to this staff report.  The Master Plan establishes development standards for the adjacent streets, internal streets and paseos, and development and uses standards for the site's three subareas (Subareas A, B and C).  Exhibit 2 is the Development Plan for Sub Area A, which includes the Del Monte Building.    
The 2008 Northern Waterfront (NW) General Plan Element (Chapter 10 of the General Plan) designates the property MU (Mixed Use) for residential and commercial mixed use.  In 2009, the City zoned the property MX (Mixed Use) to support mixed use development of the site. In 2012, the City added a multi-family (MF) overlay zoning designation on the property to facilitate the use of the property for multifamily housing and to meet the City's housing needs.  
On March 10, 2014, the Planning Board held a public workshop to preview the project.  
On April 3, 2014, the Historic Advisory Board (HAB) held its second public hearing to review the project's conformance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation.  On April 23, 2014, a public "open house" was held on the property.  On April 28, 2014, the Planning Board held a second public workshop to review and comment on the project plans.
On April 29, 2014, the City released the Supplemental Mitigated Negative Declaration, which supplements the 2008 Environmental Impact Report that evaluated the environmental impacts of redevelopment of this, and surrounding, properties (Exhibit 3).  On June 5, 2014, the HAB approved the Certificate of Approval for the Del Monte Building Development Plan.  The Certificate of Approval confirms that the proposed development plan is consistent with the Secretary of Interior Standards for the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the building.  Staff is requesting that the Planning Board and the community review and discuss the major public objectives and benefits of the project and neighborhood concerns with the project at the Planning Board's June 23, 2014 meeting.  (See attached letters in Exhibit 4)
At the outset of the planning process with the applicant's team, City staff requested that the project achieve a number of important public objectives and benefits.  The public objectives and benefits are described below and are implemented through the Master Plan, the Development Plan(s), and a Development Agreement between the City and the project applicant.   
Mixed Use Development:  The City's General Plan and Zoning Ordinance call for a  waterfront, transit-oriented, mixed use development with multifamily housing on the property.  To implement the transit oriented mixed use policy objectives, the Master Plan proposes up to 414 multifamily housing units in the three Subareas (A, B, and C). To ensure that project residents and nearby neighbors have access to neighborhood services and retail opportunities and to avoid the need for multiple trips by automobile through and around the neighborhood, the Master Pan also includes up to 30,000 square feet of commercial space.  The Development Plan for the Del Monte Warehouse building proposes up to 308 of the 414 residential units and the 30,000 square feet of commercial space.     
Historic Preservation: The General Plan calls for the adaptive reuse of the historic Del Monte Warehouse (one of only 25 designated City Monuments in Alameda) consistent with the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.  The project proposes to preserve the historic manufacturing building with a residential adaptive reuse.  On June, 5, 2014, the HAB approved a Certificate of Approval confirming that the proposed design modifications and the addition to the Del Monte Warehouse are consistent with the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.
Housing for a Variety of Household Types:  The General Plan Housing Element and site zoning call for a variety of housing types.  The Master Plan and Development Plan provide housing for households that have been significantly under-served by new housing development in the last 30+ years in Alameda:  households with disabilities, senior households, single parent households, and other household types that cannot afford, or do not wish, to occupy a single family home.  Pursuant to the site's Multifamily zoning designation and the City's Density Bonus Ordinance, the Master Plan includes:
·      414 units of which 55 units will be restricted to lower income households (HH).  17 units would be affordable to very low-income HHs, 14 units would be available to low-income HHs, and 24 units would be available to moderate-income HHs.
·      308 of the 414 housing units will be in the Del Monte building, including 127 (41%) one-bedroom and studio units, 162 (52%) two-bedroom units, and 20 (7%) three-bedroom units.
·      308 units designed to be universally adaptable.  All primary floors will be served by an elevator and every residential unit will have an accessible route to it and within it. The townhouse units will have an adaptable first floor and a second floor or mezzanine that is not adaptable.
Open Space and Recreation Opportunities:  The proposal includes:
·      A $2 million contribution to the completion of a portion of the Jean Sweeney Open Space Park to be completed concurrently with the project.
·      Patios and porches for ground floor units.
·      Shared-use roof top gardens and decks, and health and exercise facilities on the first floor.  
Clement Avenue Extension:  Access to the site is currently provided by Sherman, Buena Vista, and Entrance Drive.  Additional access will be provided by the Clement Avenue extension behind the building.   The project's internal site access is designed to extend the Alameda street grid into the project site at Eagle Street and at Benton Street.  A public pedestrian paseo is planned to bisect the interior of the warehouse building and connect Benton Street to the waterfront.  
The project will construct the Clement Avenue extension from Atlantic Avenue to Entrance Road. The Marina Cove II project is constructing the Clement extension from Entrance Road to Marina Cove I. Marina Cove I has completed its segment from Marina Cove II to Pennzoil.  With the completion of this improvement, traffic to and from the site from the west (Posey Webster Tubes) will be able to access Atlantic Avenue directly and avoid Sherman Street. Once the extension is completed through the Pennzoil site, access from the east (Park Street Bridge) will be provided by Clement Avenue and allow the existing Buena Vista Avenue truck route, and much of the existing Buena Vista Avenue traffic, to be relocated to Clement Avenue, thus reducing traffic volumes on Sherman Street and Buena Vista Avenue.
Transportation Services: To successfully achieve the General Plan policy objectives for a transit oriented development, the project must provide and facilitate use of alternative modes of transportation to minimize single occupancy vehicle trips and greenhouse gas emissions. To do so, the project is proposing:
·      On-site commercial services for residents and neighbors to minimize the need for vehicle trips for goods and services.
·      On-site Car Share services for residents and neighbors to minimize the need for car ownership and reduce parking demand.  (Studies show that one car share space can reduce the demand for multiple parking spaces).
·      On-site bicycle "kitchen" for bicycle maintenance and repair, and indoor bicycle storage areas located near the public paseo on the first floor.
·      AC Transit passes for each unit.
·      Express shuttle services (every 20 minutes) between the project, Alameda commercial districts, and Oakland BART stations for project residents and neighbors.
·      Required annual fees for each household and each commercial tenant to fund the express shuttle operations. Each household and tenant is provided with a pass to the express shuttle services.  Shuttles will be equipped with fare boxes to allow others to use the service.
·      A parking fee program (described below).
The project will create a Transportation Management Association (TMA) to operate the shuttle services and the parking program.   The TMA will be designed to serve as the  TMA for the Northern Waterfront Priority Development Area, defined as the area between the Webster Tubes and the Fruitvale Bridge.  The TMA will expand and grow as existing developments with shuttle service obligations (Windriver, Marina Cove II, Boatworks, etc.) and new developments (Encinal Terminals, Alameda Marina, etc.) join the NW TMA.  As the TMA grows, the frequency and number of shuttles, buses, and boats operating between the Northern Waterfront, Fruitvale and Downtown Oakland BART, AC Transit lines, and Alameda Ferry Terminals and Water Taxi stations will increase.  (The General Plan envisions a ferry/water shuttle stop at Encinal Terminals.)   
Working in concert with AC Transit, WETA, and BART, the NW TMA will play an important role in transforming the former industrial Northern Waterfront area into the transit-oriented waterfront community envisioned in the General Plan and in Plan Bay Area, the ABAG/MTC Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions regionally.
Parking:  Parking supply and management is critical to the success of a transit oriented development.  Too much parking will undermine transit use, and too little parking can cause "spill over" impacts on the adjacent neighborhoods.  The Master Plan and Development Plan for Sub-area A propose the following parking program:
·      326 parking spaces inside the building, and 134 spaces around the building, for a total of 460 spaces.  An additional 24 on-street spaces are provided on Clement Avenue.  
·      Approximately three spaces will be reserved for the Car Share Program, to reduce the need for tenants to own more than one car.  
·      Approximately 45 of the outdoor spaces will be set aside for the commercial space and visitors. The additional on-street parking spaces on Clement Avenue will also be available for use by visitors and the public.  
·      The remaining 412 spaces (326 indoor and approximately 86 outdoor spaces) will be available for lease to the project residents by the TMA.  Residents of the 147 one bedroom and studio apartments (147 units) will be limited to one space each. Residents in the two bedroom and three bedroom units will be able to lease one or two spaces, provided that at least one space is available for lease to all 308 units. Charging for parking encourages tenants to use the car share program, the AC Transit Passes, and the express shuttle services.  The parking revenue will pay for the management of the parking and provide additional funding for the express shuttle services.    
A number of area residents have expressed concerns about the proposed parking program.  The concerns are summarized as follows:  
·      Many area residents chose to purchase or rent homes that do not have adequate on-site parking for their own needs, so they compete with their neighbors for the free parking provided on the public street. These residents are concerned that the Del Monte residents will choose to compete with them for the free on-street parking in their neighborhood, rather than lease a space.
·      Some area residents believe that the Del Monte residents will own more than one or two cars.  The Planning Board can increase the required number of parking spaces on the Del Monte site.  
At the on-site community workshop and prior public meetings, staff suggested that a neighborhood permit parking program paid for by the project to protect the neighbors from "spill over" parking impacts could address these concerns; however, that idea has not been well received by area residents.  
The Planning Board can require that the project provide more parking and make it free to project residents.  Portions of Sub-area B or C could be developed as parking lots to increase the total number of parking spaces.   Staff has not pursued this idea with the applicants due to concerns that this modification would increase the number of cars owned by the project occupants, increase the number of car trips through the area, reduce transit use, and increase greenhouse gas emissions from the project.    However, staff also recognizes that development of an effective parking program is not an exact science.  The neighborhood representatives and the Planning Board should discuss the parking program and provide staff and the applicant with any modifications desired or appropriate to improve the proposed program.  
Architectural Design and Building Height:  The Development Plan for the Del Monte building (Exhibit 2) was prepared by BAR Architecture.  
The BAR plan:
·      Is consistent with the historic character of the building. On June 5, 2014, the HAB confirmed that the proposed Development Plan is consistent with the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.  
·      Includes an addition located at the center of the roof of the building. The location of the addition minimizes the apparent height of the addition and preserves the building's historic brick walls. The addition would rise about one story above the existing roof structure at the center of the building and about two stories above the existing brick parapet of the building.  At 49-feet in height, the addition is similar to the height of the nearby Wind River buildings, and about 10-feet higher than the four-story, 39-foot high buildings recently approved for TriPointe Homes along Fifth Street at Alameda Landing.  Because the addition is setback 60-feet from the north and south facades and 250-feet from the east and west facades, the apparent height and mass of the addition is minimized.   Four "story poles" have been placed on the roof of the Del Monte Building at the four corners of the proposed addition.  The top of each pole (with little red flag) is located at the height of each corner of the addition.  
·      Includes a modern architectural design for the addition that provides a visually appealing contrast to the historic red brick walls of the existing building.  The addition is designed with a palette of light blue exterior "skins" that is designed to contrast nicely with the red brick of the historic building in the foreground view and blue sky in the background.      
Sustainable Design: The proposed project represents one of Alameda's best examples of sustainable, energy-efficient development in Alameda.  The following project features are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change:  
·      Preservation and reuse of an existing building which reduces waste, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions during construction;
·      Transportation services and a mix of uses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles;
·      Building design consistent with a LEED Silver designation or its equivalent; and  
·      Landscape design features consistent with Bay Friendly Landscape standards.  
In 2008, the City of Alameda certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Northern Waterfront General Plan Amendment.  The City of Alameda released a Supplemental Mitigated Negative Declaration on April 29, 2014, for this Master Plan, which is designed to implement the Northern Waterfront General Plan Element. The project, if approved, will be required to implement all of the mitigation measures in both the Northern Waterfront General Plan EIR and the Supplemental Mitigated Negative Declaration.  
Property owners and residents within 300-feet of the project's boundaries were notified of the public hearing and given the opportunity to review and comment on the proposal. Comments received are attached as Exhibit 4.
Hold a public workshop to discuss the project and provide direction to staff on preferred modifications to the proposal.  
Respectfully Submitted,
Andrew Thomas
City Planner
1.      Draft Master Plan
2.      Draft Development Plan for Del Monte Building (Sub-area A)
3.      Draft Supplemental Negative Declaration
4.      Public Comment