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File #: 2016-3165   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 7/25/2016
Title: Hold a Public Hearing to Consider Site A West Atlantic Design Review Application, including Final Surface Materials, Street Trees, Storm Water Retention Landscaping for Site A and Street Lights for Site A and the Entirety of Alameda Point
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - West Atlantic Avenue Design Review Application

Title

 

Hold a Public Hearing to Consider Site A West Atlantic Design Review Application, including Final Surface Materials, Street Trees, Storm Water Retention Landscaping for Site A and Street Lights for Site A and the Entirety of Alameda Point

 

Body

 

CITY OF ALAMEDA

                     Memorandum

 

                     To:                                          President and

                     Members of the Planning Board

                     

      From:                        Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

                                                               Jennifer Ott, Base Reuse Director

                                                                           

                     Date:                     July 25, 2016

 

                     Re:                     Hold a Public Hearing to Consider Site A West Atlantic Design Review Application, including Final Surface Materials, Street Trees, Storm Water Retention Landscaping for Site A and Street Lights for Site A and the Entirety of Alameda Point

 

BACKGROUND

 

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 Design Review for Block 11, Block 8 and the Phase 1 Waterfront Park approved on March 14, 2016, Design Review for Blocks 6, 7, and 10 and a use permit for Block 10 on June 27, 2016, and the Tentative Map for Phase 1 of Site A  on July 11, 2016.

 

At this time, staff is recommending that the Planning Board review and approve the final Design Review for the reconstruction of West Atlantic Avenue between Main Street and Pan Am Way. The West Atlantic Avenue Design Review application (Exhibit 1) includes: 

 

1.                     Final surface materials for the sidewalks, cycle track, and streets, including the final materials for the shared plaza in front of Block 11 and bike racks; 

2.                     Street light designs for West Atlantic Avenue and side streets in Site A that will also apply to all other streets within Alameda Point;

3.                     Street tree species; and 

4.                     Final design and landscape materials for the required storm water retention basins within the West Atlantic median.

The current application does not include final bus shelter designs, but does include illustrations depicting the “gateway” to Alameda Point at the intersection of Main Street and West Atlantic. (The final perspective illustration on page 10 of Exhibit 1 has not been updated with the final street section, but an updated perspective will be available prior to the Planning Board meeting.)

 

DISCUSSION

 

Surface Materials:  As shown in Exhibit 1, the applicant is proposing a pleasing, pedestrian friendly mix of quality surface materials for the shared plaza in front of Block 11 adjacent to the waterfront park, sidewalks, and cross walks.  The plans include bollards and bike racks. The cycle track and bus lanes will be asphalt with white striping and markings.  Pages 7 and 8 depict the material selections for the shared plaza in front of Block 11 and the waterfront park.

 

Street Trees:   After consultation with qualified arborists and the City of Alameda Street Tree experts in the Public Works Department, staff is recommending a variety of street trees for West Atlantic and the side streets throughout Site A, as shown in Exhibit 1 page 11.  In most instances, staff is requesting approval of 2-3 options for each location to allow flexibility in selecting an appropriate tree during the detailed improvement plan process.  Ultimately, only one tree species would be selected for the locations shown on Exhibit 1.

 

Street Lights:  Staff is recommending a proposed street light design for West Atlantic Avenue, which is a gateway into Alameda Point, and a second street light design that will be used on the side streets in Site A and on the other streets in Alameda Point.  Exhibit 1 pages 12, 13 and 14 provide a number of illustrations and specifications for the recommended light fixtures and some other options for the Planning Board’s consideration.

 

Alameda Point is subject to strict lighting restrictions imposed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for the protection of the endangered California Least Tern, which nests at Alameda Point each summer.   In addition, Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) has its own requirements for lighting of public streets, including maintenance and efficiency standards.  Due to AMP’s maintenance requirements, the number of new street lights for Alameda Point needs to be limited to two types in order to minimize the cost of ongoing fixture maintenance. Therefore, staff is recommending a specific   street light design for West Atlantic Avenue and second design for all the other streets at Alameda Point. 

 

Over the last few months, lighting experts have been working with AMP’s and the FWS’s restrictions to identify street lights that would be appropriate for West Atlantic Avenue and all the other streets within Site A and Alameda Point.  After much work, the team has determined that very few standard or custom street light fixtures are available that meet the FWS and AMP requirements.  However, APP and City staff were able to identify several recommended fixtures: one for West Atlantic Avenue (with bracket and pole variations for consideration) and two for all other streets in Site A and Alameda Point.  Again, the recommended fixture for the side streets in Site A will also be the new street light fixture for the Historic District and the rest of Alameda Point. 

 

The specific criteria that were used to evaluate possible lighting pole and luminaire options, included:

ü                     Dark Sky compliance: FWS restrictions for portions of the Alameda Point site prohibit any up-light to be produced by luminaires to protect the adjacent Tern colony. To ensure that common luminaires can be used on the current and future phases for aesthetic continuity, it was decided to only use Dark Sky compliant luminaires across the entirety of Alameda Point.

ü                     Source efficacy: Luminaires with LED light engines that achieve ~100 lumens/watt.

ü                     LED source color temperature: Luminaire LED light engines in both 3,000K CCT and 4,000K CCT. AMP is considering changing its standard to 3,000K CCT (warmer light) to lessen the impact of nighttime lighting on humans and wildlife.

ü                     Aesthetics: Luminaires and poles have a distinctive character and are appropriate for being sited adjacent to contemporary and historic architecture.

ü                     Cost: Luminaires and poles are to be of similar cost compared to standard   AMP luminaires and poles.

ü                     Durability: Poles are available as direct burial composite which better withstands the marine air than aluminum or steel.

Based upon the limitations and requirements for new lighting at Alameda Point, staff recommends approval of the “West Atlantic Avenue Option 1”.  Option 1: Schreder Hestia with Oleron Pole (see page 12 and 14) features a curved pole, which staff and the APP design team believe will be an attractive feature along West Atlantic and approaching the waterfront.  Page 12 also shows a straight pole example.  If the Planning Board prefers the more traditional straight pole, the Planning Board should also consider the three Bracke Options that are available for the straight pole.  

 

For the side streets, staff recommends the Option 1: Luminis Eclipse Maxi, which is aesthetically compatible with both the Streamline Moderne architecture in the Historic District and the contemporary architecture proposed in Site A.  (See page 12 and 14)

 

Storm Water Retention:  Pursuant to the Clean Water Act and extensive State and regional requirements, any new public street must retain and treat the storm water that will run off the street during storm events.  As a result, West Atlantic Avenue must include storm water retention basins to treat and clean storm water runoff before discharge into the Bay.  As shown in the plans, the basins will be located in the median of the street, which avoids the need for basins adjacent to the sidewalk as was done at Alameda Landing.   Exhibit 1 includes a cross-section and storm water retention basin-  appropriate plant materials.

 

Conclusion

 

Staff believes that, with the improvements outlined above, West Atlantic Avenue will be an attractive, complete street and welcoming “gateway” to Alameda Point that provides a comfortable and attractive environment for pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, automobile riders, residents, visitors, and local business owners.  

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

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. 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Hold a Public Hearing and approve by motion the West Atlantic Design Review Application (Exhibit 1) and direct staff and APP to proceed with the streetlights Option 1: Schreder Hestia with Oleron Pole for West Atlantic and Option 1: Luminis Eclipse Maxi for all Site A side streets.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

Jennifer Ott, Base Reuse Director

 

Exhibit:

1.                     West Atlantic Avenue Design Review Application