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File #: 2016-3595   
Type: New Business
Body: Transportation Commission
On agenda: 11/16/2016
Title: Review and Comment on the Access and Mobility Chapter of the Draft Main Street Specific Plan at Alameda Point
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan TC, 2. Presentation

Title

 

Review and Comment on the Access and Mobility Chapter of the Draft Main Street Specific Plan at Alameda Point

Body

 

Transportation Commission

November 16, 2016

Item 5C

Action

Review and Comment on the Access and Mobility Chapter of the Draft Main Street Specific Plan at Alameda Point

Background

Over the course of the last year, City staff and Urban Planning Partners (UPP), with funding from the Metropolitan Transportation commission (MTC), have been working on a Main Street Neighborhood (MSN) Plan for Alameda Point.  Alameda Point is a designated Priority Development Area (PDA) in the Bay Area’s sustainable communities strategy (Plan Bay Area), which makes Alameda Point eligible for regional funds to plan and implement transit-oriented land use plans.

The draft MSN Plan (Exhibit 1) is a specific plan for development of the Main Street Neighborhood, which covers approximately 108 acres, comprising the community south of the Alameda Main Street Ferry terminal and north of the Town Center and waterfront land surrounding the historic Seaplane Lagoon.   An approved Specific Plan is required before new development can occur in the Main Street Neighborhood Sub-district per the Alameda Point Zoning Ordinance (Alameda Municipal Code 30-4.24), which was approved by City Council on February 4, 2014 (MSN Plan Figure 0-1). 

The MSN Plan provides an overall framework for the vision, guidelines and standards for development. The specific development objectives are determined by the City Council through the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process.  The land in the Main Street Neighborhood is owned by the City and as such, the City Council has sole discretion to determine the timing and intensity of the development of the land.

The draft MSN Plan represents another major step in the public planning process that the Alameda community has undertaken to redevelop and reuse the former Alameda Naval Air Station, commonly referred to as Alameda Point.  The planning and redevelopment process that pre-dates the release of the draft MSN Plan is summarized as follows:

o                     The adoption of the Alameda General Plan Alameda Point Element and a second EIR in 2003, which placed the Reuse Plan vision into the Alameda General Plan.

 

o                     The approval of the 2013 Alameda Point Vision Guide reconfirming the community's support for the vision and goals presented in the Community Reuse Plan and General Plan.

                     

o                     The adoption of the Alameda Point Zoning Ordinance, Master Infrastructure Plan (MIP) and third EIR consistent with the Community Reuse Plan in 2014, which established the zoning and development regulations and the infrastructure improvement requirements necessary to support 5.5 million square feet of employment uses and 1,425 residential units, including the Main Street Neighborhood.  These were adopted after receiving input from over 30 public hearings and community meetings.

 

o                     The adoption of the Alameda Point Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Plan in 2014, which creates a comprehensive program of strategies, measures, and transit services that support 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.

 

o                     The adoption of the Alameda Point Waterfront Town Center 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 at the heart of Alameda Point. 

 

o                     Approval of the Development Plan and Disposition and Development Agreement with Alameda Point Partners for a 68-acre mixed use project at Alameda Point Site A.

The work on the MSN plan has been informed by:

                     Interviews conducted by UPP with Stakeholders in June 2015, including:

o                     Alameda Architectural Preservation Society (AAPS) 

o                     Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), Building Futures with Women and Children (BFWC), and Operation Dignity, referred to as the “Collaborating Partners”;

o                     Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WTA)

o                     Alameda Point Partners (APP)

o                     Bike Walk Alameda

o                     Existing Residents from Market Rate Housing

                     Design workshops led by Mid-Pen, a highly qualified and successful Bay Area-based nonprofit affordable housing developer, and a team of architects with residents of the Alameda Point Collaborative on July 16, 2015 and August 20, which were each attended by over 125 residents.

                     Individual interview and focus groups let by Mid-Pen from August - December 2015

                     May 9, 2016 Planning Board Study Session on open space, street and building concepts.

                     September 20, 2016 City Council meeting on the draft MSN Plan Phasing Chapter.

Staff is requesting that the Transportation Commission provide comments on the draft MSN Plan, which will be incorporated along with public comments from an on-line survey and from the Recreation and Parks Commission, Planning Board, City Council.   A final draft will be prepared and provided for review and approval by the Planning Board and City Council in January 2017 and February 2017, respectively.

 

 

Discussion

The MSN Plan will implement the Reuse Plan, the Zoning Amendment vision, and the General Plan policies for a residential mixed-use, transit, bicycle and pedestrian-friendly neighborhood at Alameda Point.  The MSN Plan will implement this vision through the adoption of form-based, transit supportive standards and regulations for the arrangement of public and private streets, public open space and parks, infrastructure, and associated private development consistent with the City’s existing plan and policies for Alameda Point and comparable to the already approved Waterfront and Town Center Plan.

The primary goal of redevelopment within the MSN Plan area is twofold:

1)                     To create a mixed-use and mixed income primarily residential neighborhood with an emphasis on small-scale neighborhood-serving uses, compatible specialty manufacturing and light industrial uses, urban agriculture, open space, varied housing, and community services that complement and support the sub-district and Alameda Point as a whole;

 

2)                     To ensure the existing supportive housing accommodations are rebuilt and well-integrated within the Plan Area and future development for the Collaborating Partners.

 

The three key sections of the MSN Plan are:

                     Access and Mobility: Discussion of existing and proposed access and transportation systems with emphasis on multi-modal networks throughout the Plan Area.

                     Open Space, Urban Agriculture, and Sustainability: Illustration of proposed open spaces, recreational facilities, landscape treatment, and other natural features.

                     Land Use and Character: Specific regulations, standards, and design guidelines to shape the form of the physical environment to create a walkable, primarily residential, mixed use transit-oriented neighborhood.

 

Access and Mobility

The MSN Plan’s major recommendations for shaping the form of the physical environment and expanding transportation options and promoting walking, cycling and public transit use over automobile dependency include new and enhanced features, consistent with the MIP, including:

a.                     Transit Network

o                     Consistent with the MIP, Main Street is envisioned as a primary bus route and West Midway and Orion Street as thoroughfares accommodating secondary bus transit in the Plan Area (MSN Plan, Figure 3-4)

b.                     Introduction of two new street classifications

o                     Neighborhood Shared Street (MSN Plan, Figure 3-14) - designed as shared streets and are narrower streets, typically curbless and low-volume with reduced traffic speeds.  With only one lane of parking, crossing distances for pedestrians are reduced and the narrower section reduces the amount of impervious surfaces

o                      Pedestrian/Bikeway (MSN Plan, Figure 3-16)- non-motorized access ways encourage people to walk and bike beyond the MSN; offering shorter, more direct connections from the neighborhood to the Main Street Ferry Terminal.

o                     Orion Shared Street (MSN Plan - Figure 3-12) - surrounded on three sides of the Central Gardens without any traditional stripping and with a pavement pattern and design to highlight the importance of the destination.  Designed to emphasize pedestrian and bicycle safety and slow vehicle speeds.

 

c.                     Proposed Bike Facilities

o                     Bikeways buffered from vehicular traffic by parking and/or raised buffers with or without landscaping, such as with Main Street (MSN Plan, Figure 3-6)

o                     Designated bike facilities including raised one-way cycle track, two-way raised median protected cycle tracks, bike lanes, multi-use trails, and pedestrian bikeways,

 

d.                     Proposed Street Typologies

o                     Adequate space for green infrastructure elements (i.e. bio retention areas) for storm water management

o                     Enhanced features for people walking/biking, include traffic calming measures, such as corner bulb-outs; parking to buffer pedestrians and bicyclists; street trees, and pedestrian lighting.

e.                     Mobility Standards - This section provides standards that guide the development of new streets with the primary goal of designing streets that calm traffic and create a comfortable walking and biking experience. 

The Draft MSN Plan provides the necessary guidance and requirements to ensure that the Alameda community achieves its goals and visions for a primarily residential, mixed-use neighborhood that encourages pedestrian, bike and transit modes of travel.  The Draft MSN Plan does not represent the last step in the planning process.  The public, the Planning Board and the City Council still will review the site-specific development plans and design review applications to ensure that the final details and designs reflect community expectation.  The MSN Plan will ensure that those submittals are consistent with the community vision in terms of land use, building heights, street configuration and integration with the Historic District.

 

Once the MSN Plan is approved, the City Council will be the decision-maker on the timing and content of any future RFQ process and the types and amount of development desired for the area.

Budget Considerations/Fiscal Impacts

There is no financial impact to the City’s General Fund or Base Reuse Fund budgets related to this item.

Recommendation

Provide comments on the Access & Mobility Chapter of the draft Alameda Point Main Street Neighborhood Plan.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Ott

Base Reuse and Transportation Planning Director

 

By,

Michelle Giles,

Redevelopment Project Manager

 

 

Exhibit:

1.                     Main Street Neighborhood Specific Plan (Hand-out)