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File #: 2016-3056   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 6/27/2016
Title: Hold a Public Hearing to Consider: Block 7 Design Review, Block 6 Design Review, Block 10 Design Review and Use Permit, and Site A Phase 1 Tentative Map.
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Block 6 Design Review Plans, 2. Exhibit 2 - Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Block 6 Design Review, 3. Exhibit 3 - Block 7 Design Review Plans, 4. Exhibit 4 - Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Block 7 Design Review, 5. Exhibit 5 - Block 10 Design Review Plans, 6. Exhibit 6 - Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Block 10 Design Review, 7. Exhibit 7 - Phase 1 Tentative Map, 8. Exhibit 8 - Illustration of West Atlantic Avenue Street Design, 9. Exhibit 9 - Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Phase 1 Tentative Map



Hold a Public Hearing to Consider: Block 7 Design Review, Block 6 Design Review, Block 10 Design Review and Use Permit, and Site A Phase 1 Tentative Map.




To:                                                               President and

                     Members of the Planning Board


From:                        Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

                                                               Jennifer Ott, Base Reuse Director




In June 2015, the City Council unanimously approved the Site A Development Plan for a 68-acre area within Alameda Point that extends generally from the Main Street entrance to Alameda Point to the Seaplane Lagoon and the eastern edge of the Naval Air Station Alameda Historic District (Historic District). 


Since the City Council action on the Development Plan, the Planning Board and the project proponent, Alameda Point Partners (APP) and its team of architects and design professionals have completed the Design Review for Block 11, Block 8 and the Phase 1 Waterfront Park, which were all approved on March 14, 2016.  Since the March hearing, the Planning Board has held public study sessions to review the design of Block 6, Block 7 and Block 10. These study sessions were held on January 25, 2016, April 11, 2016 and May 23, 2016.  In June, APP applied for demolition permits to begin the construction process for Site A.


At this time, staff is recommending: 


1.                     Approval of Design Review for the residential Blocks 6;

2.                     Approval of Design Review for residential Block 7; and

3.                     Approval of Design Review and Use Permit for the commercial Block 10.


Staff has also included the draft resolution and Phase 1 Tentative Map for Site A, which is necessary to allow the commencement of construction of the public infrastructure, streets, parks and approved buildings, for Planning Board and community review.  Staff is requesting that the Planning Board continue final consideration of the Tentative Map until July 11, 2016 to give time for the applicant and staff to work through the final conditions of approval and design details.     




Community Planning Process


The plans for mixed-use, transit oriented development at Alameda Point are the result of a community planning process that is over 20 years long. The major milestones during this extensive community effort include:


                     Reuse Plan: The adoption of the 1996 Alameda Naval Air Station Community Reuse Plan (Community Reuse Plan) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which envisioned reuse and redevelopment of Alameda Point with 5.5 million square feet of employment uses and 1,425 residential units, including public parks and retail services.


                     Alameda Point Element: The adoption of the Alameda General Plan Alameda Point Element and EIR in 2003, which placed the Community Reuse Plan vision, goals, and policies into the Alameda General Plan.


                     Vision Guide: The July 2013 endorsement of the Alameda Point Vision Guide reconfirming the community’s support for the vision and goals presented in the Community Reuse Plan and General Plan.


                     Zoning and Master Infrastructure Plan: The 2014 adoption of the Alameda Point Zoning Ordinance, Master Infrastructure Plan (MIP) and third EIR consistent with the Community Reuse Plan, which established the zoning and development regulations and the MIP necessary to support 5.5 million square feet of employment uses and 1,425 residential units, after over 30 public hearings and community meetings between 2012 and 2014.


                     Transportation Plan: The May 2014 adoption of the Alameda Point Transportation Demand Management Plan (TDM Plan) consistent with the General Plan and the Alameda Point EIR, which creates a comprehensive program of strategies, measures, and transit services that supports a transit-oriented development at Alameda Point, achieves the City of Alameda’s General Plan goals to reduce automobile trips, and mitigates potential traffic impacts.


                     Town Center Plan: The July 2014 adoption of the Alameda Point Waterfront and Town Center Precise Plan (Town Center Plan), which established the form-based development standards, height limits and pedestrian oriented development standards for the lands at the gateway and surrounding the Seaplane Lagoon Waterfront Park at the heart of Alameda Point.  The Town Center Plan included the most detailed plans prepared to date for a mixed-use district at the heart of Alameda Point.


                     Site A Development Plan:  The June 2015 unanimous City Council action to adopt the Site A Development Plan, which provides a detailed plan for 68 acres at the heart of the Town Center planning area. The approval process included recommendations from the Planning Board, Recreation and Parks Commission, Historical Advisory Board, and Transportation Commission.


The Site A Development Plan requires:


                     Approximately 14.8 acres of publicly accessible open space, parks and plazas representing approximately 22% of the 68-acre property, and approximately 16.3 acres of public streets and sidewalks representing an additional 24% of the property.


                     Eight hundred of the 1,425 total residential units programmed for Alameda Point and up to 400,000 square feet of commercial development in existing buildings, approximately 200,000 square feet of retail and hotel space in new buildings. Residential units are provided in transit oriented, multifamily building types on eight blocks located immediately adjacent to the primary transit corridor along the West Atlantic Avenue that links a future ferry terminal at the Seaplane Lagoon with the planned Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service between Site A and downtown Oakland.  All residential units on Site A will be within a one-block walk or less of the BRT line, protected bicycle lanes along West Atlantic and public open space to facilitate a pedestrian oriented environment.      


                     Two hundred of the 800 units (25%) are restricted to very low-, low- and moderate-income households, and 128 of the 200 affordable units are permanently restricted for very low- and low- income households.  These units are proposed to be constructed by Eden Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, in two buildings on Block 8 in the first phase of the development. The 70 moderate-income units will be dispersed throughout the remaining residential buildings. 


                     Dedicated annual funding for transit services and transportation programs. In addition, the project is providing $10 million for construction of the new Ferry Terminal at the Seaplane Lagoon to support expanded ferry services to San Francisco and the region and over $8.5 million to construct complete streets in and around Alameda Point, including key transit improvements, such as dedicated bus lanes on West Atlantic to support expanded transit services from Alameda Point to downtown Oakland and BART. 




Residential Blocks 6 and 7 (Exhibits 1 and 3)


Block 6 and Block 7 include 124 attached townhomes.  Block 6, designed by the KTGY Group, includes 64 attached townhomes in eleven individual buildings of between 4 and 8 units each.  All of the buildings are three stories in height.  Fifty eight of the units are between 1,444 and 2,184 square feet in size.  Five units are 2,541 square feet in size, and one unit is 2,915 square feet in size.  


Block 7, designed by Kwan Henmi Architecture and Planning, includes 60 attached townhomes in a similar configuration.  All of the units are between 1,521 square feet and 2,357 square feet in size.  Forty four of the units have two-car private garages and 16 of the units have one-car private garages.  All the units are three stories.


The Planning Board held a study session to review and comment on the proposed designs for Block 6 and 7. Based upon the Planning Board’s comments and the architect’s revisions, staff is recommending approval of Design Review for Blocks 6 and 7 based upon the following findings:


Consistency with Plans: Residential townhomes of three stories in height on the subject property is consistent with General Plan land use and development policies for the site. The site design, landscape design, architectural design, colors and materials are consistent with the building height, setback, massing, and landscaping requirements and standards in the Alameda Municipal Code and Town Center Plan and Site Planning and Architectural Design Guidelines with the exception of the adaptable ground space requirement in the Town Center Plan.  A condition of approval has been added to the resolution requiring that APP redesign the entries of the units fronting on West Atlantic Avenue or pursue an amendment to the Town Center Plan.  Regarding the TDM Plan, the Site A project is expected to exceed the 10% trip reduction goal for residential development, despite the incremental increase in cars from Blocks 6 and 7, due to the design of the parking. As currently designed, Site A residential is expected to exceed a 20% reduction, due to a robust and aggressive TDM Compliance Strategy with a wide variety of transportation services and facilities, including the provision of transit and ferry services and other transportation services and programs, $10 million towards construction of the Seaplane Lagoon Ferry Terminal, and $600,000 annually at buildout towards transit service and other TDM programs.   Site A is providing transit service at a frequency in the peak hours (i.e., 15-minute vs. 30-minute) and other subsidies (i.e., $50 Clipper card contributions for employees) that exceed the requirements of the Alameda Point TDM Plan.


Seamless Integration: The proposed design of Blocks 6 and 7 are compatible with the residential uses proposed on the adjacent blocks in the Site A Development Plan and designed to achieve a “seamless integration” at the gateway of Alameda Point with the rest of Alameda.   Block 6 will provide a transition between the townhome units proposed to the west on Block 7 and the Bayport community consisting of single-family homes to the east.  Although most of Block 6 is designed as three story townhomes, the corner at  West Atlantic and Main Street drops down to a two story element to create a stronger relationship with the two story single family homes across the street at the Bayport neighborhood.  


Block 7 provides an attractive contrast to the buildings on Block 6 and the previously approved multifamily affordable housing on Block 8. Additionally, the north-south and east-west landscape corridors that traverse the site create strong open space and pedestrian connections between West Atlantic to the south and the neighborhood park to the north and Main Street to the west and Block 7 to the east, respectively. 


Architectural Design: The proposed designs for Block 6 and 7 draw inspiration from design elements of the existing buildings near and within the Historic District.  The Block 6 and 7 architectural design shares architectural elements and materials that reflect and respect, without replicating, the architectural elements of some of the most important contributing buildings in the Historic District, such as the seaplane hangars and Pan Am Terminal building (Building 77).  Examples of these elements include window rhythm and grouping, hierarchy of elements with an emphasis on massing, repetition of components, and tower elements and glazing.  Block 7 utilizes a combination of similar materials and a warmer wood-like material which will provide a pleasing contrast.  A similar material has been used in the Harbor Bay Business Park, where it has proven to be a durable and attractive material.


The recommended resolutions of approval for the Blocks 6 and 7 are included as Exhibits 2 and 4.


Commercial Block 10 Design Review and Use Permit (Exhibit 5)


Block 10 is designed to create a hub of interesting and innovative commercial enterprises paired with public open plazas that will support an engaging and vibrant waterfront mixed use district. The recommended Design Review plans provide: 


Unique Retail Environment: The four buildings on Block 10 at the heart of Site A are designed to support a variety of related individual retailers.  As shown in the “Merchandizing Plan” on Page A105 of Exhibit 5, the building facing West Atlantic Avenue is designed to house retailers that specialize in beverage manufacture and sale, such as winemakers, coffee roasters, and/or spirits. Its design is purposely flexible yet very distinctive so that it can accommodate a variety of users. Building 98, closest to Block 11, is designed to appeal to a wide range of retailers, perhaps a small grocery store (less than 5,000 square feet), bicycle shop, or other similar neighborhood retailers. Building 67 at the rear of the Block is designed to house other food and beverage businesses and/or garden and home decorating or improvement businesses.   Building 112 adjacent to Block 9 is designed for antique stores, home décor, and other similar uses.


To support the envisioned commercial environment on Block 10, staff is recommending approval of a conditional use permit for the property to allow the following uses and activities in addition to the retail uses already permitted in the district:


                     Extended hours of operation of commercial businesses to 12:00 a.m.

                     Use of the outdoor areas for commercial events, community events, outdoor seating and dining.  Outdoor amplified music and similar noise generating uses must be limited to 10:00 PM.

                     Food and Beverage Manufacturing

                     Catering Services

                     Grocery stores, Wine stores, Wine Tasting, and Taverns, and

                     Artists’ Studios  


Open Space Connections: The plan creates a clear and strong publicly accessible open space connection between the waterfront park to the west, and the neighborhood park to the east creating a continuous and contiguous “necklace of open spaces” throughout the project. The one new retail building with its open glass façade and winged roof design facing West Atlantic Avenue and Waterfront Park across the street is designed to create a strong visual connection between the Waterfront Park, its commercial pavilion with its winged roof design, and the interconnecting open spaces that are integral to the Site A Development Plan open space objectives.   The new building is positioned to create a continuous street-facing retail frontage between Block 11, Block 10, and Block 9.


History and Sustainable Design: The existing buildings and landscape features embrace and highlight the history of Alameda Point. Three of the four buildings are former Navy buildings that will be rehabilitated and adaptively reused for retail uses.  Two of the buildings (67 and 98) and three adjacent shipping containers will include “green roofs”.  Within the public park areas, the existing rails from the prior use of the land by rail cars, and other materials that remain from the prior use of the land by the Navy, will be retained and reused in the design of the district. Reuse of existing buildings and preservation of existing cultural landscape features and materials will work to create a truly unique and interesting retail environment and public spaces. The design of Block 10 also includes two buildings with green roofs to improve water quality. 


Public Parking Access:  


As shown in Exhibit 6, the site is easily accessible by bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders entering from either West Atlantic Avenue or any one of the side streets.  To address the need for visitor automobile parking, the Site A Development Plan provides for a public parking lot immediately adjacent to Block 10 consistent with the TDM Plan.  In the initial phases of the development, the existing site will be utilized as a surface parking lot.  As demand for parking increases with the development of each block at Site A, the surface lot may be expanded to a parking structure.


As shown in the public parking plan on Page A601 of Exhibit 5,  the pan is designed to direct visitors to the public parking lot from C Street and G Street to minimize the number of automobiles circulating through the shared pedestrian plaza in front of Block 11.   As automobiles approach the site from the east on West Atlantic Avenue, public parking signs will direct automobiles to turn off of West Atlantic Avenue between Block 9 and 10 on C Street. Signs will direct automobiles to the public parking lot from C Street to G Street.   For automobiles that may miss the Orion turn, a secondary access is provided via a one-way narrow lane between Block 10 and Block 11. Automobiles that miss both turn-offs will be forced to travel through the shared plaza and around Block 11 to the public parking. Signs will direct visitors departing from the public parking lot to use G Street to get back to C Street and West Atlantic to avoid the shared plaza.


The drive isle between Block 11 and Block 10 is envisioned as a one way drive lane or alley without curbs, a drive isle of 20 feet for fire access, and removable bollards along the length of the lane on both sides to ensure that vehicles stay within the drive isle and do not drive up against the buildings on either side.  


The Resolution for Design Review and Use Permit approval and special conditions for Block 10 is attached as Exhibit 6.


Site A Phase 1 Tentative Map.  (Exhibit 7)


APP has prepared a draft Tentative Map for Phase 1 of the Site A development (Phase 1 Tentative Map).  Phase 1 of the Site A Development Plan comprises approximately 30.58 acres of the 68-acre Site A property. Approximately 14 of the acres within Phase 1 is for residential and commercial development, approximately seven acres are for public parks, and approximately nine acres are for public streets.


The Phase 1 Tentative Map creates 12 lots and a right-of-way for the public streets within Phase 1.  Lots 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 12  are designed to accommodate the proposed buildings approved or under review by the Planning Board from the Site A Development Plan Blocks 6 (Lot 2), 7 (Lot 3), 8 (Lots 4 and 12), 9 (Lot 5), 10 (Lot 6), and 11 (Lot 7).   Lots 9, 10 and 11 are for the three blocks for the neighborhood park and Lot 8 is for the waterfront park.  


The Phase 1 Tentative Map includes a condominium subdivision for Blocks 6 and 7 to provide for the sale of the 64 townhomes on Block 6 and the 60 townhomes on Block 7.  The townhome designs are described below.


The Phase 1 Tentative Map also establishes the rights-of-way for the public streets, including the reconstruction and re-alignment of West Atlantic Avenue from Main Street to the Seaplane Lagoon. The street design is based upon the requirements of the Town Center Plan and the Site A Development Plan. 


The Phase 1 Tentative Map provides for construction of a “complete street” and “gateway” into Alameda Point that includes:


                     Reconstruction of West Atlantic Avenue to create a straight view corridor from the Main Street intersection to the San Francisco Bay and skyline.


                     Landscaped entry plazas on each corner of the intersection of West Atlantic Avenue and Main Street.  These plazas mark the entry into Alameda Point and the intersection of the north-south cycle track along Main Street and the east-west cycle track along West Atlantic Avenue/Ralph Appezzato Memorial Parkway.


                     One travel lane for automobiles and trucks in either direction from Main Street to Ferry Point Road.


                     Dedicated bus lanes into and out of Alameda Point from Main Street to Orion, consistent with the Town Center Plan.  The bus lanes will travel adjacent to the parking lane, which is adjacent to the curb.  (The City and APP coordinated closely with AC Transit staff on the design of West Atlantic Avenue.) At Orion, the bus lanes will merge with the automobile travel lane to enable a “mixed flow” of buses and cars (similar to other streets in Alameda) and provide for a narrower street, which will benefit the ground-floor retail and pedestrian shopping experience.


                     A ten-foot wide separated two-way cycle track from Main Street to Ferry Point Road and the Seaplane Lagoon. Separation is provided by a minimum 2-foot wide raised median.


                     On-street parking along both sides of West Atlantic Avenue and side streets. Street trees will be placed in the parking lane to provide more space for pedestrians on the sidewalks and reduce the apparent width of West Atlantic Avenue.  This design is prescribed by the Town Center Plan and Site A Development Plan.  In response to questions raised by Planning Board members about placing trees in the parking lane, staff notes that the south side of West Atlantic Avenue will include a second row of trees between the sidewalk and the cycle track, and the street trees on the north side of West Atlantic Avenue will shade the north sidewalk as the result of the canopy size and the sun being to the south of the trees for most of the mid-day period. 


                     An 11-foot wide sidewalk on the south side of the street and a 12-foot wide sidewalk on the north side of the street provides ample space for pedestrians, street furniture, outdoor seating, street lights, and other utilities. 


Exhibit 8 provides an illustration of the proposed West Atlantic complete street described above. At a future meeting, the Planning Board will consider a final Design Review plan for the West Atlantic Avenue t, which will address final surface materials, street trees, street lights, street furniture design, and the final paving and details for the “shared plaza” in front of Block 11. 


Staff is recommending that the Planning Board review and comment on the draft resolution and proposed Phase 1 Tentative Map and then continue consideration of the Map to the July 11, 2016 Planning Board meeting to give the public more time to consider the Map and time for staff and APP to finalize remaining design details and conditions of approval.   The draft resolution of approval for the Tentative Map is included as Exhibit 9.


Conformance with Policies and Plans:


General Plan: The Block 6, 7, and 10 plans and the recommended Tentative Map (“the plans”) are consistent with, and implement, the City of Alameda General Plan.  The Alameda Point General Plan Element establishes the following seven (7) objectives for the redevelopment of the former naval air station:  


1.                     “Seamless integration of Alameda Point with the rest of the City”.  The plans are designed as transit oriented, mixed-use, mixed income that is in keeping with Alameda’s traditional character and scale.

2.                     “Fostering a vibrant new neighborhood”. The plans create new public and private facilities that encompass a variety of uses, facilities and spaces that will create a vibrant new waterfront neighborhood.

3.                     “Maximizing waterfront accessibility”.  Block 10 and the Tentative Map improve accessibility to the waterfront and provide spaces and facilities for public enjoyment of the unique Seaplane Lagoon.

4.                     “De-emphasizing the automobile and making new development compatible with transportation capacity”. The plans are designed to promote and support the use of alternative modes of transportation-such as bicycles, buses, and ferries-to reduce present and potential future congestion. The Site A Plan is expected to exceed its 10% residential and 30% commercial trip reduction goal due to its robust TDM Program facilities and services.

5.                     “Ensuring economic development”. The three projects provide housing, open space, and retail services which are needed to support economic development of Alameda Point and create jobs in West Alameda to replace the jobs lost by the departure of the US Navy in 1996.  

6.                     “Creating a mixed-use environment”.  The three projects are designed to include a variety of uses that promote a transit and pedestrian-friendly mixed-use environment. 

7.                     “Establishing neighborhood centers”.  The three projects contribute to a neighborhood center at Site A that allows for residential, commercial, civic, community support services, cultural and recreational uses that support human interaction and public events. 


The following specific Alameda Point General Plan Element policies are examples of General Plan policies that are implemented by Block 6, 7, and 10 and the Tentative Map:


Encourage higher density residential development in the vicinity of the multi-modal transit centers, along with parks and community serving businesses and institutions, such as child care and family child care homes, in order to promote accessibility via alternative modes of transit.

Create a series of neighborhoods, each with a central focus of mixed-use development, including local serving commercial and recreational uses and a mixture of housing types and densities serving all income levels.

Create neighborhood centers similar to Alameda’s neighborhood business districts, with supporting uses such as retail and local serving office and civic uses in mixed-use neighborhood centers that are acceptable for nearby residents.

Provide diverse and creative development and architectural styles to achieve distinctive neighborhoods.

Create mixed-use development that locates service-oriented uses near residences and offices.

Foster development of residential, commercial, and retail uses that promote vitality and pedestrian activity along the waterfront.

Achieve human-scale transit-oriented development.

Focus uses that create pedestrian traffic in all areas.

As part of the development or landscaping approval process, define view corridors and develop criteria so that views may be preserved.

Explore the feasibility of creating an outdoor site for cultural celebrations, ceremonies, and exhibitions.

Integrate parks and plazas into new development at Alameda Point.

Provide for community recreation opportunities throughout Alameda Point.

Establish a public plaza at the marina that will serve as a focus for public uses on the waterfront.

Establish a pedestrian- and bicycle-accessible perimeter shoreline trail throughout Alameda Point. Ensure that this trail is open year round, that the trail meets minimum multi-use trail standards, and that landscape treatment of the open spaces adjacent to the Estuary and the San Francisco Bay does not block distant views.

Redesign Atlantic Avenue to include a landscaped transit corridor for buses, jitneys, or future light-rail development.


Specific Plan: The Town Center Plan is a specific plan that establishes zoning level form and use requirements for the development of this area of Alameda Point to ensure that development is consistent with the General Plan.  The Town Center Plan includes the following vision and guiding principles for all development in this area of Alameda Point:


“The primary goal of redevelopment within the Town Center and Waterfront Sub-district is to create a compact, transit-oriented, mixed-use urban core and vibrant waterfront experience that will leverage the unique character and existing assets of the sub-district, through incremental intervention, to catalyze transformation of the wider Alameda Point area.” 


To realize this vision, the Town Center Plan establishes five “core principles”:


1.                     “Enhance existing assets and character”.   The plans enhance and embrace the Seaplane Lagoon, maximize waterfront access, and the history of the site.


2.                     “Facilitate strategic implementation”.  The plans and their associated re-investment in infrastructure support and facilitate redevelopment and reuse of the adjacent Historic District and adjacent “Site B” employment area.


3.                     “Cultivate a sustainable transit-oriented center”. The plans represent the core of a mixed-use, mixed income transit oriented center supported by Waterfront Parks, transit services, and ground floor retail services. 


4.                     “Highlight the waterfront experience”. Block 10 and the Tentative Map design support the waterfront access and enjoyment. 


5.                     “Create a unique destination”.  The plans support creation of a mixed-use, mixed income transit oriented center supported by retail and restaurant uses, and waterfront parks that will be a unique destination for visitors to recreate, shop, dine, and enjoy.


The Town Center Plan includes a series of form and use requirements for all new development within the area, which has governed and directed the design of the three projects. As described below, the three projects are in conformance with these requirements:


Land Use Regulations:   The Town Center Plan permits residential uses by right on Block 6 and 7 and retail uses are approved on Block 10 by the Town Center Plan and the Site A Development Plan approval. 


Street wall Requirements:   To create a pedestrian-friendly environment, Block 6 and 7 meet the 75% minimum street wall requirement and the Block 10 site plan is consistent with the Site A Development Plan approved site plan with rehabilitated existing buildings.


Ground Floor Uses:  The Town Center Plan requires that Block 11 and Block 10 include mandatory ground floor non-residential land uses facing West Atlantic Avenue and “adaptable” ground floor space for Blocks 9, 8, 7, and 6. APP is proposing mandatory non-residential land uses on the ground floor of Blocks 11, 10, 9, and 8.   APP would like to avoid constructing “adaptable” non-residential ground floor space on the front of Blocks 6 and 7.  “Adaptable” space is defined as a ground floor that may be used for residential purposes but is designed with a 14 foot ceiling height and a “zero step” entry that could be easily converted at a later date for non-residential purposes.  APP’s argument is that Site A exceeds the Town Center objectives for vertical mixed use, and an adaptable ground floor space on a residential townhome will compromise the design and utility of the buildings on Blocks 6 and 7.    As a result, a condition of approval has been added to the resolution requiring that APP redesign the entries of the units on Blocks 6 and 7 fronting on West Atlantic Avenue or pursue an amendment to the Town Center Plan, prior to issuance of  building permit.   APP plans to pursue the amendment, which will require Planning Board and City Council approval.  


Setback: To ensure ample sidewalks and public pedestrian space, Block 10 provides two feet of setback on West Atlantic and Blocks 6 and 7 provide between 4 and 6 feet.


ParkingAlthough Blocks 6 and 7 exceed the 1.5 space per unit, the residential blocks on Blocks 11, 9, and 8 are less than the 1.5 space per unit, such that all the residential blocks in Site A as a whole will meet the 1.5 spaces per unit standard for Alameda Point. Because each building on Blocks 6 and 7 is less than 10 units, the parking for each unit will be for the private use of the occupants of the attached townhome. 


For Block 10, a public parking lot will be provided for visitors to the retail block and nearby public facilities and parks.   In addition, all of the associated streets that will be constructed with Block 6, 7 and 10 will include public on-street parking. 


Building Height:  The commercial buildings on Block 10 are well below the 60 foot height limit, and the townhomes are within the 40 foot height limit for Blocks 6 and 7. 


Bulk and Massing:  As stated in the Town Center Plan, “The objective of the Bulk and Massing controls is the creation of buildings that will be pedestrian scaled and visually well proportioned.”  All three blocks are designed to be pedestrian scaled and visually well proportioned.  This has been done by breaking down the overall mass of each building into a sequence of compatible and visually interesting smaller masses.  


Design Guidelines: The Town Center Plan design guidelines shaped the architectural design of the proposed buildings.  The buildings in the three proposals are designed to conform to the Town Center Plan guidelines, which include:


Street facing facades should include architectural elements such as canopies, awnings, overhangs, projections, shading devises, recesses, signage, lighting, varying façade element depths, material and surface variety and texture intended to provide interest to the pedestrian environment.

Building facades exceeding 50 feet in length should include modulation or articulation to the street wall.  This may be achieved with one or more material, texture or fenestration pattern change, recessed building entries, recessed balconies, enclosed building area encroachments and projections, and minor setbacks of 2 feet or less.

The scale and rhythm of the façade should express the height and configuration of a residential unit through technics such as architectural detail, color, massing, and fenestration.

Multi-unit buildings should be designed with prominent entries that are inviting and clearly visible from adjacent streets.

Fenestration should be simple, human scale, elegantly proportioned and generous. Circular, trapezoidal and triangular windows are discouraged.

Exterior elements to control solar heat gain such as fins, overhangs, and horizontal sun shades are encouraged.

Trash enclosures and other utility provisions should be protected and screened from adjacent pedestrian activity.

Garage entries should be placed on the back or side of the building. Openings should be less than 50 feet in width and less than 20% of the length of the façade.

Ground floor residential units facing the street should have street facing entries that should be raised 24 to 36 inches above the adjacent street grade to provide privacy for building occupants.

Buildings should use “cool” exterior siding, roofing, and paving material with relatively high solar reflective index to minimize solar heat gain.

Materials should demonstrate superior performance related to moisture protection, low maintenance requirements, durability, and ultra-violate resistance.

Ground level facades should be designed with high-quality materials that offer color, variety, wear resistance, and visual interest to the pedestrian. 


Universal Design:  To address the need for Universal Design, both residential projects include the following features to accommodate people with disabilities and people “aging in place”:


                     All units will be constructed with adaptable kitchens and bathrooms with clearances and accommodation for individual accessibility in compliance with state and federal accessibility codes.

                     Accommodations have been provided for the visually and hearing impaired.

                     A variety of unit types have been provided to accommodate differing lifestyles and preferences. 

                     Way-finding information is provided for the visually impaired thru the use of contrasting and tactile signage.

                     The buildings, unit and amenity areas are designed to allow for efficient and comfortable use of all facilities.

                     All amenity spaces are accessible with sufficient clearances for wheelchair use.

                     Tenant usable doors and entries shall comply with state and federal standards for ease of use and barrier free thresholds.

                     All spaces within the project have been designed with appropriate size and space for approach, reach, manipulation and use regardless of individual’s body size, posture or mobility.


Block 10 includes:

                     An accessible route of travel for all users to all parts of the park and the stores.

                     Accessible seating.

                     Accessible facilities for all users.


Sustainable Design:  To address sustainable design all three projects will meet a LEED or equivalent standard as required by Alameda Municipal Code and Site A Development Plan.  Specific features include:  


                     Materials and sourcing of materials responsive to current green building standards.

                     High performance building envelope.

                     Optimized daylighting and lighting controls.

                     Solar panels for photovoltaic energy and solar hot water.

                     High performance energy conserving systems for resident-controlled and metered mechanical, electrical systems, energy efficient window and roofing systems and water conserving plumbing fixtures.

                     On-site storm water collection, retention and filtration, including green roofs on Block 10.

                     Fenestration and shading design to minimize risk of bird collisions at windows.

                     Transit oriented design.

                     High density site development.

                     Personal wellness promoted through opportunities for community engagement and fitness.

                     Attention to indoor air quality by minimizing usage of materials that contain high levels of VOC and formaldehyde.

                     Source materials locally where practical.

                     Bay Friendly, drought tolerant landscape materials and design with smart controllers to reduce water consumption.




In conclusion, staff finds that the plans for Blocks 6, 7, and 10 and the Phase 1 Tentative Map are:


                     Consistent with the General Plan.

                     Consistent with the Town Center Plan with a single exception returning to the Planning Board for final approval.

                     Consistent with the Alameda Point Zoning District.

                     Consistent with the findings for Design Review approval included in the attached resolutions of approval and required by Section 30-36 and 30-37 of the Alameda Municipal Code Design Review ordinance.




On February 4, 2014, the City of Alameda certified the Alameda Point Final EIR in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The Final EIR evaluated the environmental impacts of redevelopment and reuse of the lands at Alameda Point consistent with the Town Center Plan, which included Site A. No further review is required for this review of the project designs. 




Hold a Public Hearing and:


Approve Design Review plans and resolution of approval and conditions for Block 6 (Exhibits 1 and 2),

Approve Design Review plans and resolution of approval and conditions for Block 7 (Exhibits 3 and 4),

Approve Design Review plans and design review and use permit resolution of approval and conditions for Block 10 (Exhibits 5 and 6),

Review and comment on the Tentative Map and resolution of approval and continue the Tentative Map consideration to July 11, 2016 (Exhibits 7-9).


Respectfully submitted,




Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

Jennifer Ott, Base Reuse Director



1.                     Block 6 Design Review Plans

2.                     Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Block 6 Design Review

3.                     Block 7 Design Review Plans

4.                     Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Block 7 Design Review

5.                     Block 10 Design Review Plans

6.                     Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Block 10 Design Review

7.                     Phase 1 Tentative Map

8.                     Illustration of West Atlantic Avenue Street Design

9.                     Resolution of Approval and Conditions for Phase 1 Tentative Map