Showing posts from June, 2016

Estudillo/Bancroft Avenues Re-Zoning Update

Here is an update on the re-zoning issue along Estudillo and Bancroft Avenues that I have mentioned in earlier posts.
As background, City staff originally proposed to re-zone about 20 properties from their current designation of P or Professional office space (limited to 30 feet in height) to DA-2 or Downtown Area 2 (which includes mixed-use housing of up to 50 feet in height) in conjunction with the City's General Plan Update. Many of us objected to the re-zoning as inappropriate in height, use and density for properties in or close to a residential neighborhood. Mayor Pauline Cutter heard our concerns and took action. As a result, staff modified their recommendation. 
In a memo to the City Council that was shared with the public last week, Cynthia Battenberg, the City's Community Development Director, stated, "Following community input, staff is recommending that the P Professional zoning for the Downtown East area (the approximately 20 parcels on Estudillo Avenue and Ban…

Grand Jury Report On Eden Township Healthcare District

The Eden Township Healthcare District (ETHD), which covers San Leandro, no longer owns or operates any hospitals. It is running ads on social media claiming that we are in danger of "losing our vote." I don't know what vote the ETHD is referring to. All it does today is manage medical office properties and distributes some community funds. But it doesn't provide any healthcare services. 

The ETHD is running the ads because there is a bill in Sacramento (AB 2471) from Assembly member Bill Quirk to dissolve it. There is sound justification for the bill. This comes from the latest Alameda County Grand Jury report:  ETHD spends 88% of its resources managing its real estate holdings and only 12% on mission-related activities. With this balance of resource allocation, the district struggles to deliver (directly or indirectly) adequate healthcare services for all residents. There is minimal evidence of active, informed citizen participation in district affairs. Agency officia…

How To Follow The Money In San Leandro

Want to know whom gave campaign contributions to a local candidate? You don't have to file a public records request. State law allows anybody to view election documents, such as campaign statements or financial disclosures, by walking into a city clerk’s office and asking for them. 

Even better, thanks to the work of the San Leandro Clerk and IT staff, you can access these records online at

Honoring the Orlando Victims in San Leandro

Let's say no to hate and discrimination, honor those who perished in Orlando, and say yes to love and respect for our LGBTQ neighbors and friends on Saturday, June 18th, at 6:30 pm at Root Park in San Leandro (located at East 14th Street and Dan Niemi Way).

Follow up:  Thank you Brandon Brock, Council member Corina Lopez, Mayor Pauline Cutter, SFPD, the other organizers, and everyone that attended yesterday's rally/memorial for the victims of the Orlando massacre. It was San Leandro at its best!

Let's Not Shoot Ourselves In the Foot - New Zoning Proposals Will Backfire on San Leandro

To those that say wouldn't it be good if the City assisted in the creation of new, market-rate housing that would attract new residents and thereby generate demand for greater retail, shopping and dining options in San Leandro, my response is - yes, we can have this and without bringing Downtown San Leandro right up and into our residential neighborhoods on the northeast side of the city,
Take a look at
The maps show that city planners are seeking the re-zoning of multiple sites in the core of Downtown San Leandro - many of which are close to the BART station.
That is fine with me. I support new housing in our downtown. In fact, there is one development in Downtown San Leandro well advanced in the planning process that will bring in 60 high-end apartment units within walking distance of BART. There are also vacant lots within eyesight of the BART tracks that would support dense, new housing.
The City expects 15,000 new residents will live…

Proposed Changes To San Leandro Zoning Code Expand Downtown San Leandro To Residential Neighborhoods

We need to have a community conversation on the degree of development that should be permitted outside of San Leandro’s downtown.  Specifically, should buildings appropriate for our downtown be built next to residential neighborhoods?
For context, in 2007, after a multi-year process with extensive public input, the City Council adopted a Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) Plan to "guide new development in downtown San Leandro for the next 20 to 30 years."  The plan’s objective is to channel the majority of new residential growth to downtown San Leandro, within walking distance of BART, thereby lessening residents’ dependence on cars.
As shown in this map at page 35 of the TOD Plan, a buffer of lower density professional, commercial and multi-unit housing was created between downtown San Leandro and the residential neighborhoods on the northeast side of the city.  

The buffer is reflected in the City's current zoning code (below).  Dense development, marked as Downtown Are…

San Leandro Cherry Festival Parade, Sat. June 4th, 10 a.m.

What are you doing Sat. (tomorrow) at 10 a.m? I hope to see you watching the Cherry Festival Parade! Come to San Leandro Blvd and celebrate what's unique and charming about our city at the parade and festival. 

Learn more at San Leandro Cherry Festival

San Leandro City Council To Discuss Charter Amendment To Repeal Term Limits

The Mayor and City Council will be discussing whether to place an amendment to our City Charter on the November 8, 2016, ballot revising and/or repealing the charter's term limit provisions. Currently, the Mayor and City Council Council members are limited to serving 2 consecutive, four year terms.  This is not a life time prohibition. You can serve 8 years, leave the city council, and then run again in the future for office (Tony Santos did this). It's also specific to the position, e.g. you can serve 2 terms as a Council member then serve as Mayor for 2 terms (so 16 years total on the City Council).  On May 16, 2016, Vice Mayor Ursula Reed proposed that the City Council hear this matter. (You can watch the discussion at - go to item 14.) 
Vice Mayor Reed is in her 8th year (her final year of her 2nd four year term) on the City Council. The majority of the City Council agreed to hear the matter on Monday…