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File #: 2021-1403   
Type: New Business
Body: Commission on Persons with Disabilities
On agenda: 10/13/2021
Title: A Public Hearing to Review and Comment on the Draft Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan

Title

 

A Public Hearing to Review and Comment on the Draft Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan                                                                                                                                                   

Body

 

To: Members of the Commission on Persons with Disabilities

                     

From: Danielle Mieler, Sustainability and Resilience Manager

                  

Date: October 13, 2021

 

Re: A Public Hearing to Review and Comment on the Draft Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The City of Alameda (“City”) is seeking feedback on its Draft Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan ("Plan”) to serve as the City’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Plan updates the 2016 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan and the adaptation chapter of the 2019 Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP). Some of the information contained in CARP is directly translated into this Plan, and some of it is updated and adapted for this Plan. The Plan is aligned with the draft General Plan Safety Element and Emergency Management Plan.

The purpose of the Plan is to help Alameda adapt to climate change, reduce the impact of future disasters, and help us recover more quickly when disasters do occur. Local governments with a FEMA approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plans may be eligible for the following benefits:

                     Create a more disaster-resistant and resilient community and region;

                     Eligibility for hazard mitigation assistance programs, including Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Community (BRIC) Grant Program, Flood Mitigation Assistance and Severe Repetitive Loss grant programs;

                     Eligibility for points under the National Flood Insurance Programs Community Rating System (CRS), and;

                     Eligibility for waiver of the 6.25% local match for Public Assistance money after a disaster.

 

The Plan is different from an emergency management or response plan which prepares the City to respond when a disaster occurs, and may include such actions as providing emergency response, equipment, food, shelter, and medicine. However, climate adaptation and hazard mitigation planning support emergency response planning by minimizing the loss of life and property resulting from disasters.

 

Per the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, Local Hazard Mitigation Plans must be updated every five years. The Plan addresses natural and climate induced hazards that impact the City of Alameda and lays out a strategy for mitigating natural hazards and adapting to a changing climate.

 

The success of this plan rests not only on our ability to implement the strategies laid out in this plan, but also on our ability to implement the City’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP). The goal of CARP is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 and become carbon neutral soon as possible. By taking aggressive action to reduce our GHG emissions now, Alameda will do our part to achieve a climate safe path and avoid some of the extreme climate effects we may face.

 

Following revisions from the public engagement period, the final Local Hazard Mitigation plan will be submitted to the California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for approval, followed by formal adoption of the Plan by the City Council.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Vision and Goals

 

The Plan's vision is that the City of Alameda will be better prepared for future hazards and climate impacts by reducing the impact of disasters on our community and by being prepared to equitably recover from disasters. The goals of the Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan are to:

 

                     Reduce exposure to hazards where possible;

                     Protect the health, safety and welfare of City of Alameda residents, workers and visitors;

                     Minimize damage of public and private property;

                     Minimize damage of the natural environment;

                     Minimize disruption of essential services, facilities, and infrastructure.

                     Timely and complete recovery;

                     Increase understanding and awareness of hazards and hazard mitigation by City employees and the public;

                     Participate in mitigation and resiliency by all stakeholders, as appropriate, and;

                     Protect the City’s character.

 

Relationship to the Commission on Persons with Disabilities

 

With its focus on reducing the impacts of natural and climate-induced disasters on Alameda’s population, The Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan will improve safety for older adults and people with disabilities who are more vulnerable to displacement and may be more reliant on functioning utilities and city services by reducing the impacts of disasters on those services and reducing the scope of the City’s emergency response actions.

 

Mitigation Actions

 

The Plan emphasizes improving existing buildings and infrastructure and designing new buildings and infrastructure to better withstand the impact of future disasters in Alameda. With guidance from the Planning Team, staff developed over 40 actions aimed at achieving the plan’s goals.

 

The following proposed mitigation and adaptation actions may be of particular interest to the Commission:

 

                     Soft-Story Buildings Program. Expand the City’s Soft Story Program to include mandatory requirements for substantially improving the seismic performance of multi-family wood frame residential buildings with open ground floor parking or commercial spaces known as soft stories that remain on the City’s inventory.                     

                     Wood Framed Buildings Program. Educate residents about the City’s Wood Frame Building Program, which includes voluntary requirements for substantially improving the seismic performance of one- and two-story wood frame residential buildings with vulnerable “cripple walls”. Encourage residents to take advantage of the California Earthquake Authority’s Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program grants and other financial assistance programs.

                     Resilient Electrical Service. Protect vulnerable electric systems and facilities and build resiliency so disruption to the system is minimized following ground shaking, extreme weather events and wildfires.

                     Public Education and Outreach. Conduct education and outreach to the general community on hazard mitigation and disaster preparedness.

                     Emergency Transportation Planning. Continue to work with AC Transit and WETA to ensure coordinated services in the event of the need for evacuation.                     

                     Emergency Fuel Agreements. Work with FEMA to arrange for emergency fuel delivery and generators at key locations. Work with local fuel suppliers to ensure fuel delivery during emergency events. Consider developing microgrids to provide some level of continuous power during outages and emergencies.

                     Citywide Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan. Develop a comprehensive citywide sea level rise adaptation strategy for Alameda following the model of the Master Infrastructure Plan for Alameda Point. The plan will identify the range of shoreline protection, groundwater management, land use, and building and infrastructure design standards needed to help Alameda adapt to rising sea and groundwater levels and fill critical information gaps related to shoreline condition, jurisdiction and approach to ensure uniform protection for the city and to create additional shovel-ready adaptation projects or programs.

 

For the full list of mitigation and adaptation strategies, see Chapter 5 “Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Strategy” (<https://www.alamedaca.gov/files/assets/public/city-manager/documents/adaption-and-mitigation-plan/05-climate-adaptation-and-hazard-mitigation-strategy_sept-2021-draft.pdf>)

 

Public Engagement

 

An open public involvement process was determined essential to the development of an effective plan. As such, staff established a page on the City’s website dedicated to the plan update (www.alamedaca.gov/HazardMitigationPlan <http://www.alamedaca.gov/HazardMitigationPlan>). Staff conducted a survey to solicit community input on natural hazards that pose risk to Alameda and to understand their level of personal preparedness for the disasters we face. In addition, City staff convened virtual community workshops to seek input on the draft plan, sent emails, and placed flyers at public locations and on doorsteps in target neighborhoods. Staff is also presenting at City Board and Commissions.

 

Public Events

                     Virtual Community Meetings, September 16, 22, 28

                     Tabling at Farmers Market, 710 Haight Ave, October 19

 

Presentations to other City Boards and Commissions:

                     Planning Board, September 27

                     Commission on Persons with Disabilities, October 13

                     Public Utilities Board, October 18

                     Transportation Commission, October 27

                     Social Service and Human Relations Board, October 28

                     Alameda Collaborative for Children, Youth and their Families, October 28

                     Historical Advisory Board, November 4

 

To join the mailing list for the Plan, select “Environment, Sustainability and Climate Action” among the options here: www.alamedaca.gov/RESIDENTS/Subscribe <http://www.alamedaca.gov/RESIDENTS/Subscribe>

 

The plan can be viewed online at www.alamedaca.gov/files/assets/public/city-manager/documents/adaption-and-mitigation-plan/climate-adaptation-and-hazard-mitigation-plan_sept-2021-draft.pdf <http://www.alamedaca.gov/files/assets/public/city-manager/documents/adaption-and-mitigation-plan/climate-adaptation-and-hazard-mitigation-plan_sept-2021-draft.pdf>

 

or at <https://www.alamedaca.gov/HazardMitigationPlan> under “Review draft plan”.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

Adoption of the Plan is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because general policy and procedure making of this nature does not constitute a “project” that is subject to environmental review (CEQA Guidelines Section 15378(b)(2)).

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Review and comment on the draft Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plan

 

 

Respectfully submitted by,

 

Danielle Mieler,

Sustainability and Resilience Manager