Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 2018-6292   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: Planning Board
On agenda: 12/10/2018
Title: Public Hearing to consider Design Review and Development Plan Amendment to allow an approximately 113,000-square-foot five-story hotel with 172 guest rooms, and an approximately 7,000-square-foot restaurant with coffee shop, located approximately 400-feet northwest of the corner of Harbor Bay Parkway and Bay Edge Road. The property is located within the C-M-PD, Commercial Manufacturing - Planned Development zoning district. The Harbor Bay Isle Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the development of the Harbor Bay Business Park Planned Development
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 Project Plans, 2. Exhibit 2 Draft Resolution of Approval, 3. Exhibit 3 Memorandum from Economic Development Manager, 4. Exhibit 4 Airport Review Letters, 5. Exhibit 5 Traffic and Parking Analysis, 6. Exhibit 6 Biological Resources Survey, 7. Exhibit 7 Noise Assessment, 8. Exhibit 8 Public Comment as of 11-26-18, 9. Public Comment as of 12-6-18, 10. Public Comment as of 12-11-18

Title

 

Public Hearing to consider Design Review and Development Plan Amendment to allow an approximately 113,000-square-foot five-story hotel with 172 guest rooms, and an approximately 7,000-square-foot restaurant with coffee shop, located approximately 400-feet northwest of the corner of Harbor Bay Parkway and Bay Edge Road. The property is located within the C-M-PD, Commercial Manufacturing - Planned Development zoning district. The Harbor Bay Isle Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the development of the Harbor Bay Business Park Planned Development

 

Body

 

                     To:                                          Honorable President and

                     Members of the Planning Board

                     

      From:                        Henry Dong, Planner III

             

                     Date:                     December 10, 2018

 

                     Re:                     Public Hearing to consider Design Review and Development Plan Amendment to allow an approximately 113,000-square-foot five-story hotel with 172 guest rooms, and an approximately 7,000-square-foot restaurant with coffee shop, located approximately 400-feet northwest of the corner of Harbor Bay Parkway and Bay Edge Road. The property is located within the C-M-PD, Commercial Manufacturing - Planned Development zoning district. The Harbor Bay Isle Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the development of the Harbor Bay Business Park Planned Development.

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Staff requests that the Planning Board hold a public hearing to consider a Design Review and Development Plan amendment application to construct a five-story hotel and two-story restaurant with a café at 2900 Harbor Bay Parkway.  The project includes approximately 172 rooms, dining room with a lounge, meeting room, swimming pool, outdoor patio areas, and approximately 100 parking spaces for daily use by the Harbor Bay Ferry commuters.  Staff is recommending conditional approval of the proposal.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The proposed project is located on the vacant 5.5 acre portion of the Esplanade development site within the Harbor Bay Business Park. The site is approximately 400 feet west of the corner of Harbor Bay Parkway and Bay Edge Road and immediately east of the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal. A lagoon and residential neighborhood border the site to the north, and the property fronts onto Shoreline Park and the San Francisco Bay to the south. The property is zoned Commercial Manufacturing (CM) with a Planned Development (PD) overlay, and designated as Business Park by the General Plan.

 

On February 25, 2008, the Planning Board approved the original Esplanade Development Plan (PLN07-0061) to allow the construction of ten office buildings totaling 109,000 square feet on the 9.22 acre Esplanade site.  In 2012, the first of the ten buildings was completed for the Stacy & Witbeck Company.  

 

On May 26, 2015, the Planning Board approved Development Plan Amendment and Design Review  No. PLN15-0092 to allow the construction of a 22,868-square-foot office building in lieu of two 10,400-square-foot office buildings originally approved in 2008.

 

On August 28, 2018, Harbor Bay Hospitality, LLC (the “applicant”) submitted an application for a Development Plan Amendment and Design Review to allow the construction of the proposed hotel and restaurant/cafe on the remaining 5.5 acres of the Esplanade site immediately adjacent to the Ferry Terminal parking lot in lieu of the remaining seven (7) approved office buildings.

 

On October 8, 2018, the Planning Board held a study session to review the proposed hotel development. The Board provided staff and the applicant with direction on the architecture, development plan and parking for the project.

Based upon the comments received, HGRA Architects and the applicant revised the proposed design plans for the project.   The revised plans are included as Exhibit 1.  A draft resolution of approval is attached as Exhibit 2. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Zoning and Hotel Uses:  The proposed hotel and restaurant use is consistent with the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and the Harbor Bay Business Park Development Plan. The site is located in the C-M-PD, Commercial Manufacturing, and Planned Development Zoning District. Hotels and restaurants are a permitted use in this zoning district and have been approved by the City of Alameda at other locations in the Business Park with the C-M-PD Zoning and Business Park General Plan designation.  The C-M-PD Zoning for the subject site does not include the special BCDC Settlement Agreement restrictions on hotel use that govern the zoning for the 1.2 acre property at 2350 Harbor Bay Parkway on the waterfront. 

Hotel use on the site is also consistent with the City of Alameda Economic Development Strategy recommended by the Planning Board and unanimously approved by the City Council in 2018, which identifies hotels as a critical component of the City’s ecomonic development strategy. Exhibit 3 includes a memorandum from the Economic Development Manager describing in more detail the benefits of hotels to the City’s economic health.

Airport Safety & Height:  The project is located within the Airport Safety Zone of the Oakland Airport and triggers the review of both the Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The building meets the airport height restrictions of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The FAA has determined in its letter dated September 25, 2018, that the building design will not pose a hazard to air navigation at the Oakland International Airport or in Bay Area airspace. The ALUC deemed the project consistent with airport land use regulations and has provided recommended conditions of approval for construction design, which staff has incorporated into the resolution for the project. The Port of Oakland has reviewed the proposal and recommended conditions of approval that construction crane height is reviewed by the FAA prior to construction of the building, and that landscaping height maintained on the site. The project, as conditioned, will comply with all regulatory requirements pertaining to airport safety (Exhibit 4).

 

Development Standards and View CorridorsThe subject 5.5 acre site is part of the approved Esplanade Development Plan. The approved plan includes ten (10) two story office buildings on the 9.22 acre development site. The development plan currently has seven building locations remaining after the construction of the Stacy & Witbeck and Mcguire & Hester office buildings. The Esplanade Development Plan established a minimum 35 foot building line setback from the south property line along Shoreline Park.

 

Consistent with the approved Development Plan for the site, the amendment also provides pedestrian pathways through the site for public access to the shoreline, a consistent 35 foot setback from Shoreline Park, bicycle and pedestrian paths around the site to connect the public to the shoreline, and improvements to the adjacent public Shoreline Park in front of the site.

 

The proposed amendment to the approved Development Plan would replace the remaining seven (7) building pads with two (2) buildings: the hotel building and the restaurant café building.   Instead of seven two-story buildings, the proposed amendment would provide one two-story building and one five-story building.   As shown on page A-6 of Exhibit 1, by replacing the small 30 foot wide view corridors with a 300 foot wide corridor, the revised plan increases the number of homes on the lagoon that will have an unobstructed view of the Bay.   

 

Table 1 below summarizes project compliance with the site wide development standards.

 

Table 1: Project Compliance with C-M/PD District Development Standards.

 

Requirement:

Proposed:

Compliance:

Maximum Building Height

100 ft.

63 ft. building 73 ft. center feature

Complies

Maximum FAR (0.5)

0.5.

0.5.

Complies

Lot coverage

40%

12.6%

Complies

Landscaping coverage

30%

30.2%

Complies

Front Yard Setback (lagoon)

25 ft.

88 ft. restaurant 180 ft. hotel

Complies

Minimum Side Yard Setback

20 ft.

25 ft. (west) 285 ft. (east)

Complies

Minimum Rear Yard Setback adjacent to Shoreline Park.

35 ft.

35 ft.

Complies

Vehicle Parking

275 spaces

275 spaces

Complies

Bicycle Parking

11 short term 11 long term

30 short term 12 long term

Complies

 

Hotel and Ferry Parking:  Pursuant to Alameda Municipal Code Section 30-7, the proposed 172-hotel requires 1.25 spaces per room or 215 spaces plus an additional 60 parking spaces for the restaurant/coffee shop for a combined total of 275 parking spaces is required for the project. The project provides the required 275 vehicle parking spaces.

 

The traffic and parking analysis conducted by Steve Abrams Associates shows that 275 spaces far exceeds the expected demand for parking on the site on an average day.  Using data from the Institute of Transportation Engineers standards and data from other hotels in the Harbor Bay Business Park, Abrams Associates expects the that the proposed restaurant and café will primarily serve ferry riders and hotel customers and that average demand for parking in the evenings will be between 150 to 200 spaces (Exhibit 5). 

 

Based on the analysis, staff believes that on many evenings as many as 100 parking spaces may be vacant and that during the day, the number will be significantly higher (hotel parking lots are mostly needed at night, not during the day).  Therefore, staff is recommending a condition of approval that requires that the applicant make at least 100 spaces available (during the daytime hours) for use by WETA ferry riders. 

 

The project and its parking lot is located directly adjacent to the Harbor Bay Ferry Terminal. In contrast to the proposed over-supply of parking on the hotel site, the ferry parking lot is severely undersized.  Since much of the required parking will be underutilized by the hotel during the day, staff is recommending a condition of approval that requires the applicant to:

 

                     Actively manage the parking lot to allow ferry parkers to use any available parking between 6 AM and 8 PM.

                     Advertise the availability of the parking for ferry riders through a partnership with WETA, the ferry provider.

                     Provide a “real time” mobile parking application that allows ferry riders to be able to determine if any spaces at the hotel are available by checking their cell phone before driving down to the hotel parking lot.  The mobile parking application would notify ferry riders how many spaces are available in the lot, the best route to get to the site, and allow the rider to pay for the parking space. This feature is important because there will be nights and days where the hotel will be at full occupancy or having events that may reduce the availability of parking on the site on any given morning.  With the “real time” monitoring of spaces, ferry riders will be able to determine ahead of time, whether there are spaces available at the hotel. 

 

Landscape and Shoreline Park Improvements: The revised site plan provides a waterfront restaurant patio, a landscaped public courtyard between the restaurant and the hotel and the park, and pedestrian and bicycle routes between the ferry terminal and the restaurant and parking areas. 

 

The project will also improve the Bay Trail facilities in the adjacent City-owned Shoreline Park.  Conditions of approval require replacement of the dilapidated, temporary asphalt path with a permanent concrete path, similar to the concrete path elsewhere in the Shoreline Park, the additional of new public benches, trash receptacles, and bicycle racks.  The landscape plan also includes a landscaped berm between the Shoreline Park and the parking area and a landscape screen along the northern edge of the site to screen the site from the rear residential areas.

 

Since the study session, the applicant has reduced the number of palm trees on site, removed the Chinese Pasticcio and London Plains trees from the landscaping plan, and included more native plants to the plant palette. The project also eliminated use of diamond shaped parking planters and includes more evergreens to provide a year-round natural look for residences across the lagoon.

 

The revised plans include a lighting plan with a photometric analysis, and the project is conditioned to meet dark skies requirements. Conditions of approval will also require the applicant to implement lighting fixtures that are downward facing as part of a final lighting plan in order to minimize light and glare impacts to the surrounding area.

 

 Architectural Design:  Since the Planning Board study session, the applicant has revised the architectural plans to:

 

                     Lighten the color palette of the proposed buildings;

                     Increase the window insets to at least four inches;

                     Remove some, but not all, of the large “floating frames” on elevations;

                     Remove the single balcony on the north elevation;

                     Add transom windows on the ground floor level to created uniform window heights;

                     Provide a consistent roof parapet across the building roof line;

                     Include four story high art on east and west side elevations and a sculpture within the landscaping areas;

                     Ensure bird safe window design, and

                     Add roof top solar power and solar water heating to offset hotel energy use on the site. 

 

Although staff believes the elevations have improved, staff is not prepared to recommend final approval of the architectural elevations as shown on page A10 in Exhibit 1, at this time.  Staff also believes that the four story art installations on the side elevations will be very important design decisions that should be approved by the Planning Board or Public Art Commission.  Therefore staff is recommending a condition of approval that requires that that prior to issuance of a building permit for the project, the applicant prepare a final elevation and art submittals for Planning Board review and approval. 

 

Public Outreach:  In addition to the public noticing and posting for the project conducted by the City, the applicant held community meetings with the Harbor Bay Island Neighbors on September 26, 2018, with the Freeport Home Owners Association Board on October 11, 2018, and with the Freeport Home Owners Association on November 7, 2018. The applicant also met with the Harbor Bay Business Park Association on August 21, 2018 and received a letter of support for the hotel proposal from the HBBPA on September 24, 2018.

 

In recent days, staff has received a number of email requesting that the Planning Board delay action on this application to give the neighbors more time to consider the project.  The Planning Board does have the option of continuing the hearing to a future date, if the Board feels such a delay is warranted.

 

Public Notice and Comments

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. Copies of all emails and letters received will be forwarded to the Planning Board and provided for the Board at the public hearing.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

The proposed project will not result in any significant traffic, noise, air quality, water quality, biological, or other environmental impacts, that were not previously disclosed in the Harbor Bay Isle Environmental Impact Report prepared for the development of the Harbor Bay Business Park Planned Development.  The Environmental Impact Report considered the environmental impacts of full development of the Business Park at a density and intensity that far exceeds the actual density and intensity that has been implemented with the development of the Business Park over the last 20 years. Pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15162, there have been no significant changes in circumstances that require revisions to the previously certified Environmental Impact Report. Staff is able to make these findings based upon the following evidence on the record:

 

The project site has no value as habitat for endangered, rare or threatened species. The Harbor Bay Isle Environmental Impact Report (EIR) analyzed the impacts of Harbor Bay development on wildlife and migratory birds. The recently completed biological survey for the proposed hotel concludes that the proposal does not substantially change the determination of the previously certified EIR.  The area of the proposed development has no habitat value for any endangered, rare, or threatened wildlife species. A survey for burrowing owls and sensitive species was conducted by Monk & Associates Environmental Consultants at the project site on September 10, 2018, and no evidence of the presence of these species were observed on or within a zone of influence of the site (Exhibit 6).

 

Approval of the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air navigation, air quality, or water quality.  The previously certified Harbor Bay Isle EIR analyzed the impacts of the Harbor Bay development on traffic, noise, and air navigation. The recently completed traffic analysis, noise analysis, and Airport Land Use Commission analysis conducted for this specific project concluded that the proposed hotel facility will not substantially change the determinations of the previously certified EIR. A traffic and parking analysis conducted by Abrams and Associates shows that the new hotel, restaurant, and ferry parking proposal does not result in any significant traffic impacts to the surrounding area. The project received an approval letter from the Alameda County Airport Land Use Commission on September 27, 2018 in regards to compliance with the safety, noise, and height development requirement of the adjacent Oakland Airport. The Noise analysis conducted by Saxelby Acoustics on September 5, 2018 determined that the project can meet city, state, and county requirements in regards to noise levels through the implementation of standard CNEL building requirements (Exhibit 7).

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Hold a public hearing and approve the draft resolution of approval (Exhibit 2) for the Marriott Hotel Development Plan and Design Review plan. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Henry Dong, Planner III

 

 

Exhibits:

 

1.                     Project Plans

2.                     Draft Resolution of Approval

3.                     Memorandum from Economic Development Manager

4.                     Airport Review Letters

5.                     Traffic and Parking Analysis

6.                     Biological Resources Survey

7.                     Noise Assessment