Council Says 'NO' To Family Housing,
NO To Measure J
After tirelessly campaigning for Measure J, the November 2nd school bond vote, the city council voted a big NO Tuesday night to providing support for the new school by denying family housing. The 3-2 vote was the first 'post J' test of the council's new focus on providing family friendly housing in Emeryville's drive to increase enrollment by more than 700 kids. The proposed loft development at 3900 Adeline Street was the site of the contested council vote.
The site was approved for a new loft development by the council last year after they OK'ed the tear down of the existing red brick historic structure there.
The developer subsequently asked the city for a two year extension on the contract to start demolition for the loft project and the council entered into a discussion Tuesday of whether to leverage the extension request by asking for more family appropriate housing at the site.
|What counts as family housing in Emeryville|
Council member Jennifer West asked the developer if the intent was to increase the building's mass to account for the 20 larger units and she was informed that the proposed building would remain the same size but the one bedroom units would be small, the same size as the former studio units. After acknowledging that Emeryville had changed and now the school district needed support in the form of family friendly housing, Mayor Nora Davis volunteered that these hard bargained units would be acceptable for single parent/one child families. Countering, Ms West said the units could hardly be called "family friendly".
The vote for asking the developer to provide real family housing in exchange for the two year construction extension was Davis, Bukowski, Brinkman- NO; and West, Atkin- YES.
Readers may wish to read more about the demolition of the historic building by going to the November 12 Tattler story.
The school project, passed by Emeryville voters will be a nearly $400 million new facility after financing and requires an additional 700+ Emeryville students to make the whole thing viable according to the school district. In the last twenty years, Emeryville's student population has actually decreased owing to the lack of family housing in town compelling some residents to advocate for turning the student decline around to give the new school a chance at success by building family friendly housing. The city council has recently announced a new vision for the city that includes families but so far it's amounted to nothing other than words, adding not a single family housing unit.