Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 2022-1924   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/3/2022
Title: Adoption of Resolution Approving Tentative Tract Map No. 8468 and a Condominium Plan (PLN21-0587) to Subdivide 2350 Saratoga Street into Three Commercial Condominium Units. (Planning, Building and Transportation 20962710)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Tentative Tract Map No. 8468, 2. Exhibit 2 - Condominium Plan, 3. Exhibit 3 - Conditions of Approval, 4. Resolution

Title

 

Adoption of Resolution Approving Tentative Tract Map No. 8468 and a Condominium Plan (PLN21-0587) to Subdivide 2350 Saratoga Street into Three Commercial Condominium Units.  (Planning, Building and Transportation 20962710)

 

..Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The applicant is requesting approval of Tentative Tract Map No. 8468 and a Condominium Plan to create three condominium units within the existing building at 2350 Saratoga Street, also referred to as Building 8 within the NAS Alameda Historic District.  The applicant received approvals to renovate 2350 Saratoga as a Work/Live complex, eventually receiving approval to create up to 250 Work/Live units within the building.  Work/Live units are not residential units, they are primarily commercial and industrial units with accessory living spaces and cannot be individually sold. The Condominium Plan would partition the building into three condominium units with multiple Work/Live units in each condominium unit.  The Condominium Plan was requested by the applicant’s lenders as a contingency if the lenders have to take over the project and find new partners to complete the project.  Per Alameda Municipal Code (AMC) Section 30-78.5, on March 28, 2022, the Planning Board conducted a duly noticed public hearing to review the Tentative Map application and voted unanimously to recommend the City Council approve Tentative Tract Map No. 8468 and a Condominium Plan for 2350 Saratoga Street.

 

BACKGROUND

 

In 2016, the Planning Board approved a Master Use Permit for 88 new Work/Live Units and a Development Plan and Design Review for exterior renovations at 2350 Saratoga Street, also known as Building 8 in the NAS Alameda Historic District.  The project’s approval also included a minor rooftop addition and communal spaces.  In 2019, the City Council amended the Work/Live ordinance, allowing Work/Live units to be smaller in size.  In February 2020, the Zoning Administrator modified the Master Use Permit to allow up to 250 Work/Live units, which became possible under the new Work/Live Ordinance. Work/Live units are commercial work spaces with ancillary living quarters for the occupant, and are not defined as residential units under the AMC.

 

The project is currently under construction and is anticipated to be completed later this year.  The applicant submitted an application for Tentative Tract Map No. 8468 (Exhibit 1) and a Condominium Plan (Exhibit 2) to subdivide the building into three (3) commercial condominium units. This application is being made to facilitate further financing for the project at the request of the applicant’s lenders. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

Tentative Tract Map and Condominium Plan

The project site is a three-story 270,000 square foot building built by the US Navy and which is a contributing structure to the NAS Alameda Historic District.  The applicant received approval for the adaptive re-use of the building to create up to 250 Work/Live units within the existing building as well as a new rooftop addition and decks.  Per AMC Sections 30-2 and 30-15.3, Work/Live units are not residential units, they are commercial or industrial units with incidental residential accommodations.  Per AMC Section 30-15.4, the living space of a Work/Live unit is restricted to 30% of the floor area, up to a maximum of 400 square feet, whichever is less.  Additionally, each Work/Live unit must receive a Work/Live Permit for their business and maintain an active business license.  Per AMC Section 30-15.5.m, Master Use Permit requires the recordation of a deed restriction that Work/Live studios are restricted to commercial activity as their primary use.

 

The building sits on a 179,728 square foot lot that was created in 2016 to facilitate the sale of the building from the City of Alameda (City) to the applicant.  The boundaries of the existing lot will not be modified as part of this application, instead a Condominium Plan will separate the building into three commercial condominium units of roughly equal size.  Units A and B are all three stories of a little more than the western third and middle third of the building, respectively.  Unit C is all three stories of the remaining eastern portion of the building (Exhibit 2).  This is different than some Condominium Plans where each tenant space or dwelling becomes its own unit.  Instead, each proposed condominium unit will be the tenant areas of all three floors of that portion of the building, with hallways and common areas belonging to a newly created Owner’s Association.  This means that work/live units cannot be sold individually, as prohibited by AMC Section 30-15.5.e.  As a stipulation for more project financing, the applicant’s lenders are requesting the applicant receive approval for this Condominium Plan.  In the event that the bank must take over the building this allows the selling off of three smaller portions rather than the entirety of the large building, of which there is a smaller market for buyers.

 

All development of this project will follow the previously approved amended Master Use Permit, Development Plan, and Design Review and their conditions of approval (Exhibit 3).  This includes the cap of 250 Work/Live units total in the entire building, and the living areas of those Work/Live units will remain restricted to 30% of the tenant space’s gross floor area or 400 square feet, whichever is less.

 

Conclusion

The adaptive re-use and renovations of Building 8 at 2350 Saratoga Street remains subject to the conditions of approval of the approved amended Master Use Permit, Development Plan, and Design Review.  The applicant requests the approval of a Tentative Tract Map and Condominium Plan to create three commercial condominium units in the building.  The purpose of the Condominium Plan is to satisfy lender’s requirements to finance the project.  It will not create individual for sale Work/Live units.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

The City Council may:

 

                     Approve the Tentative Map and Condominium Plan, as recommended.

                     Modify the conditions of approval and approve the Tentative Map and Condominium Plan.

                     Remand the project recommendation back to the Planning Board for further consideration on any specific aspect of the design.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

There is no financial impact in approving the Tentative Map and Condominium Plan.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The Tentative Map and Condominium Plan are consistent with the General Plan, Climate Action and Resiliency Plan, and state and local subdivision regulations.  The underlying project is consistent with the City’s Work/Live Ordinance, AMC Section 30-15.5 and will remain consistent if the Tentative Map and Condominium Plan are approved. 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15315 - Minor Land Divisions and none of the exceptions apply.

CLIMATE IMPACT

 

The proposed project is consistent with the City’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan transportation policies, which encourages Work/Live developments as a method to reduce car trips and therefore lowered greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed project provides Work/Live units in an urban area, which can reduce greenhouse gas pollution by eliminating workday car trips during congested commuter hours. 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Approve Tentative Tract Map No. 8468 and Condominium Plan to create three commercial condominium units at 2350 Saratoga Street.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Andrew Thomas, Planning, Building & Transportation Director

 

By,

Allen Tai, City Planner

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Margaret O’Brien, Finance Director

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Tentative Tract Map No. 8468

2.                     Condominium Plan

3.                     Conditions of Approval

 

 

cc:                     Gerry Beaudin, Interim City Manager