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File #: 2017-3731   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 1/9/2017
Title: Encinal Terminals Master Plan Study Session The Planning Board will hold a study session to review and comment on the Draft Encinal Terminals Master Plan.
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Encinal Terminals Site Plan and Street Sections, 2. Item 7-B Public Comments to Planning Board, 3. Encinal Terminals Presentation

Title

 

Encinal Terminals Master Plan Study Session The Planning Board will hold a study session to review and comment on the Draft Encinal Terminals Master Plan.

 

Body

 

 

To:                                                               President and

Members of the Planning Board

                     

From:                        Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

             

BACKGROUND

 

Encinal Terminals is an approximately 23-acre vacant property surrounded by water on three sides located behind the Del Monte Warehouse on the Northern Waterfront. The Wind River office campus is immediately across the Alaska Basin from the site, and the eastern edge of the peninsula is occupied by Fortman Marina.      

 

From 1994 to 2009, the site was occupied by a shipping container maintenance facility that repaired and stored approximately 6,000 shipping containers on the site and generated between 200 and 250 truck trips per day from the site into the adjacent community and estuary crossings.

 

In 2008, the City Council adopted the Northern Waterfront General Plan amendment that established a series of General Plan policies to govern the redevelopment of the site from an industrial trucking facility to a mixed use residential development with public waterfront open space.

 

In 2009, the City rezoned the site from Manufacturing (M-2) to Mixed Use (MX) and terminated the use permit for the shipping container facility.  The site has been vacant since 2010. 

 

In 2012, the City zoned portions of the site for multifamily housing. The approval of the multifamily overlay zoning (MF) was critical to the City’s effort to bring the City’s General Plan and Zoning Ordinance into conformance with State law. The MF overlay was not applied to the approximately 6 acres of land within the site that is owned by the City of Alameda and that is subject to State Tidelands restrictions prohibiting residential use.  

 

On February 29, 2016, North Waterfront Cove, LLC (the “applicant”) submitted an application for a draft Master Plan for the site. The draft Master Plan is currently under review by the City. (The 2016 draft Master Plan is available upon request and on the City of Alameda website at <https://alamedaca.gov/planning/major-planning-projects>).  In addition to a master plan approval, the proposal requires completion of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and a Tidelands exchange between the applicant, State Lands, and the City of Alameda. 

The project, as currently proposed, would include:

                     Up to 589 housing units, including stacked flats (approximately 89%) and townhomes (approximately 11%) and 79 affordable units;

                     A commercial marina with up to 160 boat slips and a harbormaster’s office;

                     Approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial/office and restaurant uses; and

                     Approximately three acres of waterfront-related public open space and parks, including locations for launching kayaks and other small watercraft launches, provisions for future public water taxi/water shuttle or ferry terminal facilities, and public parking.

 

On April 27, 2016, the City of Alameda released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Initial Study notifying the community and public agencies that the City of Alameda has determined that the proposal requires preparation of an EIR pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). 

On May 23, 2016, the Planning Board held a public scoping session on the EIR and held an initial Planning Board study session to discuss the proposal.  

 

On June 26, 2016 and October 10, 2016, the Planning Board held the second and third study sessions on the project.    

 

Staff and city consultants are currently finalizing the Draft EIR for public review.   Staff anticipates that the draft EIR will be published for public review in January 2017, and a public hearing on the draft EIR will be scheduled in February 2017 before the Planning Board. 

 

Following the February EIR public hearing, staff is anticipating the need for a workshop to focus on the proposed Tidelands swap in March 2017.

 

DISCUSSION

 

At the January 9, 2017 study session, staff would like to Planning Board to review and comment on: 

 

1)                     Exhibit 1 showing the most current site plan, street sections, and massing diagrams for the proposed buildings, and

2)                     Staff’s four observations and eleven recommendations regarding the work to date.  The observations reflect staff’s opinion of the positive characteristics of the site plan and street sections.  The eleven recommendations reflects staff’s opinion of what could be improved in the draft Master Plan and should be included in the next draft of the plan to comply with the General Plan policies and plans for the site approved by the Planning Board and City Council in 2008.   The Planning Board’s comments on the staff observations and recommendations (numbered 1 through 11 below) will direct the preparation of the next draft of the Master Plan for public discussion.

 

To help inform the Planning Board’s review, staff has included a summary of the General Plan policies for the site. 

 

General Plan Policies:  The 2008 Northern Waterfront General Plan Element includes the following community objectives and policies that govern the preparation of a Master Plan for Terminals:

 

“The intent of the site specific development policies for the Encinal Terminals Site is to facilitate redevelopment of the site with new land uses that will take advantage of the unique site configuration and waterfront location, increase opportunities for public access and enjoyment of the waterfront and eliminate the existing uses which contribute a large volume of truck traffic in the vicinity.  The Mixed Use designation will allow for the development of a wide range of land uses to capitalize on the site’s unique location adjacent to the Alaska Basin, Oakland/Alameda Estuary, Fortman Marina, and Del Monte Warehouse site. Anticipated land uses in this district include a range of housing types, including senior housing, commercial, office, and public parks and open space. Public waterfront access around the perimeter of the site is envisioned, as well as a new marina on the Alaska Basin.”

Mix of Uses

 

1.                     The Master Plan for the Encinal Terminals site shall replace the existing container storage and cleaning operation with a mix of uses to create a lively waterfront development. The plan should include at least the following four land uses: residential, retail, commercial, and public open space.

 

2.                     Residential uses may include senior housing or assisted living facilities. 

 

3.                     Commercial uses may include restaurants, marine related uses, office uses, and/or additional berths in the Alaska Basin. Additional berths should not be allowed on the northern edge of the site facing the Estuary and Coast Guard Island to preserve views of the water and Oakland.

 

4.                     Encourage water and maritime related job and business opportunities that relate to the area’s unique waterfront location.

 

5.                     Encourage retail uses that offer recreational products and services, such as windsurfing and sailing equipment and lessons and bicycle and boat rentals. 

 

6.                     Encourage a variety of restaurants and activities that meet the needs of people of all ages and income levels.

 

Form and Development Standards:

 

7.                     Require that the master plan for the development of the Encinal Terminals site illustrate how the various parcels can be developed as a unified development. The master plan must address all phases of the development of the site.

 

8.                     Require that the master plan include adequate open space and a clear public access around the perimeter of the site.

 

9.                     The Master Plan should consider relocating the tidelands trust lands to the perimeter of the site to allow residential mixed-use development in the core of the site with publicly accessible open space around the perimeter of the site.

 

10.                     The site plan should allow for a shoreline public promenade around the perimeter of the site and adjacent to the Alaska Basin and Fortman Marinas.

 

11.                     Consider opportunities for a public human powered/non-motorized boat launch facility at Alaska Basin.

 

12.                     Require public art installations adjacent to the Alaska Basin shoreline consistent with the Public Art Ordinance.

 

13.                     Cluster development to maximize open space and view corridors to the estuary.

 

14.                     Require that buildings at waterfront locations be designed with attractive and varied architecture style.

 

15.                     Require building heights to “step down” as they approach the water.

 

16.                     Require that new development provide a pedestrian-friendly scale with building sizes consistent with adjacent and historic land uses in the area.

 

17.                     To ensure design compatibility with adjacent developments and neighborhoods; limit new building heights to 60 feet.

 

18.                     Given that Encinal Terminals is surrounded by water on three sites, taller buildings should be located at the southern end of the site.

 

19.                     If a parking structure is proposed, require ground floor uses and/or a pedestrian friendly facade. 

 

20.                     If a parking structure is proposed, locate the structure to serve public access to the waterfront and future development at the Del Monte site.

 

21.                     Require that the master plan include inviting, well-designed public entrances from Clement Street. Primary vehicular access into the site should occur at a four-way intersection at Clement/Entrance, if feasible.  

 

Public Improvements and Infrastructure

 

22.                     The Encinal Terminals development should fund a fair share of the costs of the Clement Street extension from Sherman to Grand.

 

23.                     The Encinal Terminals development should fund a fair share of the costs to upgrade storm sewer and wastewater facilities necessary to serve all future development within the Northern Waterfront area.

 

Observations and Recommendations for Planning Board Discussion: 

 

For the purpose of this workshop, staff has prepared four (4) observations, and eleven (11) recommendations for Planning Board review and comment. 

 

Observations: Staff believes the proposed site plan and exhibits shown in Exhibit 1 include a number of important design decisions that support the General Plan policies and community objectives for the site.   Specifically: 

 

1)                     Public Streets:  The site plan provides a clear and simple hierarchy of streets organized around a single, central spine (the Entrance Road extension), which provides automobile access to buildings and public open spaces on the site. Secondary streets provide access to parking structures within each building and all of the major waterfront open spaces.

 

2)                     Public Parks:  The site plan provides a clear and attractive sequence of public open spaces, including a waterfront promenade and two major waterfront parks around the perimeter of the site.  The promenade connects to Littlejohn Park and the adjacent neighborhood via the public passage way through the Del Monte Building envisioned in the General Plan and being implemented by the Del Monte project.   A public kayak launch and staging area is provided at the foot of the public promenade near the Del Monte Building.   Additional design work will be needed to ensure that all public open spaces are appropriately sized, programed, and designed.  

 

3)                     Development Pads:  The site plan provides a good framework to illustrate how the various parcels can be developed as a unified development.  The site plan includes seven (7) development pads for residential mixed use buildings (pads A/B, C, E, F, G, H and I), and an eighth pad (pad D) for a maritime commercial building. 

 

4)                     Commercial Development: The site plan includes a maritime commercial “center” at the middle of the site to serve as the commercial core of the project and provide for facilities such as kayak and small watercraft rentals, small business opportunities, and other maritime or visitor-serving commercial uses.  Additional ground floor retail and visitor serving uses and restaurant spaces are envisioned on several of the waterfront pads and the Clement Avenue frontage.  

Site Design Recommendations: Staff believes that the following eleven (11) revisions or development requirements should be included in the next draft Master Plan to improve the project and benefit the larger Alameda community:

1.                     Bay Trail/Cycle Track:  The Master Plan should include detailed plans for a continuous Bay Trail and cycle track around the perimeter of the site.  Currently the plans show a cycle track running down the center of the site, without a plan for the Fortman Marina side of the property.  The General Plan calls for the promenade to encircle the site, including adjacent to the Fortman Marina.   (See policy number 10 above.) Staff does not believe that running the Bay Trail down the center of the site is consistent with the General Plan or the Regional Bay Trail plan.   At minimum, the Bay Trail should include a 10 foot wide cycle track, a 2 foot gravel path for joggers, and a minimum 5 foot wide concrete sidewalk for pedestrians along the Fortman Marina property line.  

2.                     Public Parking:  The Master Plan should include a plan for public parking for the proposed marina and for public access to the public parks on the site.  For public park parking, staff recommends that the existing public park space on the north-east corner of the site owned by Fortman Marina be combined with a new public parking area to be provided on the adjacent Encinal Terminals site to provide a consolidated single, larger public parking area.  Automobile access to the enlarged joint public parking area should be provided from both the Encinal Terminals site via the Entrance Road extension as well as from the existing access from the Fortman Marina frontage road.  The Master Plan should also articulate how public parking will be accommodated in each building to support the adjacent commercial and marina users. 

3.                     Internal Street Designs and Sections:  All internal streets on the site including the Entrance Road extension down the middle of the site should be designed for slow automobile travel.  Bicycles and automobiles should share 10 foot travel lanes.   Seven foot wide parking spaces should be provided along all internal streets.  All sidewalks should be a minimum of 6 feet.  A cycle track on Entrance Road is not needed, in staff’s opinion, if a cycle track is provided around the perimeter of the site.

4.                     Automobile Access on Promenade:   Staff believes that limited automobile access should be provided in front of the buildings facing the Alaska Basin, but direct vehicle access from the promenade to Clement Avenue shall be limited to only emergency vehicles to prevent project occupants and visitors from using the promenade as an automobile “short cut” to Clement Avenue and minimize the number of automobiles using the promenade as an alternative to the Entrance Road extension.  

5.                     Fortman Marina Access: The Master Plan should include plans to provide a new access to the Fortman Marina from Entrance Road to eliminate the existing Fortman entrance adjacent to the new Clement Avenue/Entrance Road intersection and Cross Alameda Trail.

Architectural Design Recommendations:  To support the phased development of the site and ensure that the development exhibits architectural designs that “step down” to the water and provide for “attractive and varied architecture styles” as envisioned in the General Plan, staff believes the Master Plan should be revised to include: 

6.                     Building Design Review and Height Requirements.  The Master Plan should include the following Design Review requirements:

a.                     Each building shall be subject to a separate Design Review application and Planning Board review.  

b.                     Each building shall be tallest on the Entrance Road elevation and “step down” towards the water.  A cascading series of steps down to the waterfront will provide a pleasing urban form and allow for variety in building height and mass between each major building.

c.                     The Entrance Road elevation must be at least three stories in height.  A building that is four stories or higher on Entrance Road must step down to a maximum height of three stories facing the waterfront.

d.                     All buildings must have a consistent setback from Entrance Road.  Setbacks between buildings and between the buildings and the public right of way on the waterfront may vary.

e.                     No two adjacent buildings should have similar building massing or similar “steps” down to the water to ensure architectural diversity and design and avoid a monotonous design.  

f.                     No two adjacent buildings shall be designed by the same architecture firm to ensure architectural diversity and design and avoid a monotonous design.

g.                     Building elevations should reference the site’s history as a working waterfront, developing a dialogue with the Del Monte Building, the adjacent Alaska Packers and Fortman and Grand Marina buildings, and the Wind River office campus. 

h.                     Building pad “D” (the Maritime Commercial Building) shall be limited to commercial uses and should exhibit an architectural design that is reminiscent of the maritime history of the site.    

i.                     Ground floor commercial space shall be provided on the ground floor of the side elevations (Building C north elevation and Building E south elevation) facing the Maritime Commercial Building and the ground floor of the building facing the Waterfront Plaza (on the northwest corner of the site).  Ground floor commercial uses may be added on any other buildings.

j.                     The side elevations of Building C and E shall be a maximum of 3 stories adjacent to the maritime commercial building (“D”) to ensure maximum sunlight into the maritime commercial area.  Additional floors may be permitted through design review if the additional floors and set back from the side elevation and the design is supported by a solar analysis showing that the additional floors do not significantly shade the maritime commercial “town center”.

k.                     The Clement Street elevation of Building A should be occupied by retail space with a minimum ceiling height of 18 feet.

l.                     To ensure that the 589 units are distributed appropriately across the plan and that all seven residential pads are able to meet the design, development and massing standards established by the General Plan and Master Plan, the Master Plan shall specify the number of units to be constructed on each pad and the preliminary massing and height of each building to be constructed on the seven pads.  If a design review application for a particular pad is submitted that differs from the Master Plan specifications, the application shall be accompanied by a massing and land use plan for all the remaining pads to illustrate how the remaining pads can be developed in substantial conformance with the General Plan and Master Plan design and development standards. The Planning Board retains full discretion to approve or deny a design review application if it determines that he massing and land use plan for the remaining pads is not in substantial conformance with the General Plan and Master Plan development and design standards. 

Building Heights: The applicant’s drawings in Exhibit 1 propose a variety of individual building heights ranging from three (3) to fourteen (14) stories along Entrance Road that “step down” to two (2) or three (3) stories along the waterfront edges of the project. (If the Master Plan permits heights over 60 feet (5 stories), a General Plan amendment will be needed to address the policy calling for a 60 foot height limit.   The applicant is also proposing to put the tallest building at the northern end of the site which is contrary to General Plan policy.  (See GP Policy #17 and #18 above.)

At this time, staff is not ready to recommend these proposed heights and General Plan amendments. To inform and assist the Planning Board, the public, and staff consider these proposed heights, staff has requested that the applicant’s architectural consultants prepare massing diagrams for the Planning Board to help the Board and the public visualize and adjust the proposed massing and height of each of the seven pads. The initial pass at those massing diagrams will be presented at the study session.

Staff would also note that the Alameda Point Town Center Plan establishes a 60 foot height limit, with the provision that the Planning Board can approve a taller building on specified pre-determined blocks, provided that the Design Review application exhibits “exceptional architectural design”.   A similar approach is an option that staff is considering recommending for the Encinal Terminal Master Plan.

Development Phasing and AMC Requirement Recommendations:  The requirements of the Alameda Municipal Code state that a Master Plan must include:

“A narrative text including: (a) Identification and description of the uses proposed; (b) Statement of the scale of each use, expressed in numbers (i.e., number of residential units, number of boat berths, square footage of retail-commercial, square footage of office uses, etc.) and in acreage allotted; (c) Description of the vehicular transportation circulation system within the project and connecting to larger circulation networks in the City; (d) Description of alternatives to private vehicles, including facilities for public transportation use, pedestrians, and bicycles;  (e) Preliminary plans for parking, describing scale and location; (f) Tabulations of approximate acreage allotted to public open space, common private open space, and non-common private open space; (g) Description of public access to water and public utilization of water related facilities; and (h) Statement of probable uses of public open space and other public facilities, including a rationale for scale and location.”

 

“A preliminary development schedule and phasing diagram showing each phase of the development schedule of the Master Plan, for purposes of planning public amenities and infrastructure. “

 

To support the phased development of the site and ensure that the master plan is consistent with the General Plan and the Alameda Municipal Code, staff believes the Master Plan should be revised to include the following:

7.                     A more detailed Affordable Housing Plan.  The 7 residential mixed use pads shall accommodate a maximum of 589 residential units.  A minimum of 79 of the 589 shall be deed restricted affordable housing units. A minimum of 153 of the 510 market rate units (30%) shall be 1200 square feet or less in size to ensure that a percentage of the market rate units will be affordable to households that earn between 120% and 150% of the area wide median income (“workforce housing”).  A more specific plan for the distribution of the affordable units throughout the project should be included in the next draft of the Master Plan.

 

8.                     A Universal Design Plan.  The Master Plan should include a universal design plan that shows how the project will accommodate seniors aging in place and residents with disabilities.   The plan should reflect and support the current proposed standards in the draft Universal Design Ordinance, and the plan should establish a maximum number of townhomes that may be permitted in the project.   The current draft plan proposes that 65 of the 589 units (11%) shall be attached townhomes with private garages, and the balance of the units are stacked flats with access to elevators and a shared parking lot. 

 

9.                     A more detailed Commercial Phasing Plan.  A phasing plan for the development of the Maritime commercial building and adjacent marina should be included in the Master Plan.

 

10.                     A more detailed Open Space Design and Phasing Plan and Tidelands Exchange Plan: The plan should include:

                     More detailed designs for the public open space that will be transferred into the public trust.

                     Requirements for all structural improvements necessary prior to transfer.

                     Phasing requirements for all non-structural improvements and design improvements to allow public access and enjoyment (railings, landscaping, floating public docks and kayak launches, etc.) to ensure that public access is phased in as each building pad is developed. 

 

11.                     A more detailed Transportation/TDM Plan.   The plan should include a more detailed transportation/TDM plan. The Transportation Plan should be prepared and be available for review with the rest of the Master Plan and the upcoming EIR transportation analysis.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

The Encinal Terminals Master Plan is a project subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).   In 2008 the City of Alameda certified an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Northern Waterfront General Plan Amendment that included this site.  The City of Alameda is currently preparing a Supplemental EIR to evaluate the environmental impacts of the Encinal Terminals Master Plan.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Hold a Planning Board study session to provide direction and suggestions for the next draft of the Encinal Terminals Master Plan.   

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Andrew Thomas, Assistant Community Development Director

 

 

Exhibit:

1.                     Encinal Terminals Site Plan and Street Sections.