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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Terrible Legacy For Family Housing

Lofts & Condos
Emeryville Not Family Friendly:
$400 Million At Risk


In the wake of Tuesday's Measure J school bond passage, now suddenly the lack of family friendly housing in Emeryville becomes an emergency.  Emeryville residents are going to put up nearly $400 million for less than 500 Emeryville students unless we can build more housing suitable for families to support that massive investment.  By their own calculations, Measure J proponents agree the school district needs at least 1200 students to successfully support the new school the measure provides for.  During the campaign, which was long on hyperbole and short on actual information, Measure J proponents made only the vaguest suggestions about how they will deliver an additional 700 Emeryville children to the district.

Reality Bites
And yet the inconvenient truth is that the city council has not been providing housing for families in Emeryville.  Below is the actual legacy as delivered by council members Nora Davis, Ken Bukowski, Dick Kassis (former member), and Ruth Atkin.

The following is the tale of the tape for loft and condo development, the type Emeryville has garnered it's reputation on:
All lofts and condominiums built 1993 - 2007.  Student enrollment at the school district is from 1999-2007. 

      Project                             Year Built   Units   Students @ Emery

  1. Horton St Lofts                1993         15               0
  2. Powell St Lofts                1994          10              0
  3. Temescal Lofts                1994          4               0
  4. Emeryville Warehouse      1999        141             0
  5. Doyle Dollar Lofts            2000         20              0 
  6. Bakery Lofts                    2002          20             0
  7. Terraces Condos              2002        101             3
  8. Oliver Lofts                     2002         50              3
  9. Andante Condos               2004         95              0
  10. Elevation 22 Condos         2004         71              0
  11. City Limits Condos            2005         31             0
  12. Liquid Sugar Condos         2005         55              2
  13. Bay St Condos                  2006         95              0
  14. Blue Star Corner               2006          6              0
  15. Key Route Lofts                2006         22             0
  16. Ocean Ave Lofts               2006           6             0
Totals                                                        742           8

    For years now the city council have engaged in a lot of overheated rhetoric about how they're going to deliver family friendly housing to our town but they can't seem to get past the sticking point of getting up the nerve to say "NO" to a developer, any developer that approaches them with another non-family friendly project.  History has shown they will be incapable of bringing family friendly housing to support the resident's new $400 million dollar investment in the schools.
    It's time for a new paradigm with new leaders at the helm.  This crew in charge; the School Board and the City Council, helped usher in the Measure J school rebuild and now we the residents are going to have to pay for it so we should at least insist they provide the housing necessary to give the thing a chance at success.   Now, we're going to need to cut loose anyone that stands in the way of providing family friendly housing in Emeryville.  Now it's a $400 million emergency.


    1. according to a report issued by the emery ed fund, the total enrollment of students at emery secondary and anna yates was 420 and 362 respectively for the school year 2008-2009. exactly how many of these students actually live in emeryville? while i totally support the schools and have been a volunteer for five years, the burden of repaying the school bond
      falls on me and other property owners who may not have children in the school district but want our children to get the best education they can. what about parents who work in emeryville and send their children to emeryville schools but live elsewhere? what about the children who live in richmond, oakland, hayward, san leandro and san francisco? this is a terribly unjust bond measure which i opposed from the beginning.
      i would like to see an audit made public each year to see exactly what businesses are paying for measure j.

    2. I'm not sure where you got your numbers since you didn't name a source, however, they are inaccurate. I live at Andante, so I can only attest to that project.

      First of all there are 125 units, not 95. Even if you are only referencing the first phase of the project, there are 102 units. Second, my neighbor has a daughter that attends Emery Secondary. I'm almost sure we have more than that one child at Emery Secondary too. Third, we have several familys at Andante. Both my downstairs and upstairs neighbors have children and four other nearby neighbors also have children. Most of these children are too young to attend Emery Secondary (At least 3 are too young even for Elementary school.) I would not call our units family un-friendly. The two bedroom units are large and accomodate children nicely.

    3. To the first commenter-
      The School District has said there are less than 500 Emeryville students attending the schools. Inter-district transfers are allowed and some children of parents who work in Emeryville but live elsewhere do attend. Actual numbers are constantly shifting and to pin them down at any given moment is difficult.

      To the second commenter-
      The numbers for housing come from the Lapkoff & Gobalet Demographics Report commissioned by the Emery Unified School District for use in the Measure J campaign. The results I posted are verbatim from the report.
      As to the family friendly nature of development, I defer to the MIG report to the schools from last summer. MIG is a Berkeley based city planning firm. The report qualified the metrics of what elements housing needs to have to fairly be called "family friendly". This has been so qualified so as to stop possible abuse by developers and/or the city. So in effect, it's not a matter of opinion if a certain development is family friendly, rather it's demonstrable.

    4. This need for family housing was not made clear by the measure j flyers. Its real important we give familiys a place to live here. Thank you for bringing this to everyones attention!

    5. Families, I mean.

    6. It's pretty clear this whole thing is going to be built for Oakland kids. Emeryville's just paying for it.