HOMES Responds

    HOMES is concerned that “The Measure A Debate” [July/August 2008] contains factually incorrect information.
    First of all, HOMES’ primary goal is not to oppose Measure A. Our purpose is to provide education and advocacy around development issues at Alameda Point. We do believe that Measure A is a deterrent to optimum development and for that reason alone we would like to see a modification only for Alameda Point.
    Secondly, we have never advocated for the exclusion of single-family homes at Alameda Point. What we have been very clear about is that there should be a mix of housing types, including single-family homes, and that design should support local retail and transportation solutions to create a vibrant neighborhood that is less reliant on the automobile. We have not accused those of different opinions of being “elitist and exclusionary” nor of being “racist.”
    The author states that the Navy has “given” the land to the city. In fact, the Navy still owns the land [and] … has gone from an agreed-upon no-cost transfer to charging the city $108.5 million for the land, which is more contaminated than originally thought and [poses] other major challenges to building.
    The author states that Victorian- and Craftsman-style houses are protected by Measure A but historic preservation laws protect them. Under Measure A they could be destroyed, if replaced by only single-family homes or duplexes. Measure A prevents the type of building that makes historic Alameda unique, such as apartments over retail, small cottages or apartments clustered around historic stations.
    Thanks for tackling this important issue, but we hope that future articles will provide a more accurate account.

Helen Sause, President, HOMES, Alameda

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