Density limits increase building costs

An article in Sunday’s Chronicle describes the exodus of middle class families from the Lake Tahoe region due to the prohibitively high costs of owning a home there.

Firefighters, teachers and nurses are among those who can’t afford to live where they work …

“A family of four makes $76,000. You would not think they need affordable housing. Up here it’s only going to purchase a house for $300,000. And when you can’t find a shack falling down for $300,000, you start seeing the difficulty,” said Rachelle Pellissier, executive director for the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) contends the 10 building code amendments made in the past five years encourage affordable housing. But agencies trying to build at the lake say the two-story height limitation and density limits make it cost-prohibitive.

“None of us wants to hurt the environment, but (TRPA) stopped looking at the social part of the environment. What happens when the whole workforce moves out and drives in?” asked Pellissier of the North Shore.

Is Alameda listening? What good is measure A if all it does is to drive middle class families away and results in the closure of several schools as a result (not to mention lowering the tax base of the city)?

2 Responses to “Density limits increase building costs”

  1. keepmeasurea Says:

    That family of four mentioned in the article would have qualified for the low-income (“moderate” income by HUD definitons) housing at Bayport in Alameda which was built under Measure A restrictions.

    household size minimum income* maximum income*
    3 person household $59,600 $73,980
    4 person household $66,250 $82,200
    5 person household $71,550 $88,780
    6 person household $76,850 $95,350
    *Income range for 2005 and subject to change annually without notice.

    I’m still waiting for someone, anyone, to tell me exactly how many police officers, nurses, teachers and firefighters we need to house in Alameda. So far, I counted about 600 teachers, and 99 sworn police officers – and certainly not all of them need affordable housing.

    The Breakers at Bayport Apartments

    2391 Fifth Street, Alameda, CA
    52 town homes for very low- and low-income families; 10 single family homes for low-income families (for sale)
    1, 2 and 3 bedroom town homes and flats
    New construction scheduled to begin 2004
    Estimated completion date 2005

    The City of Alameda selected Resources for Community Development (RCD) to develop 62-units of affordable housing, including both a rental and a for sale component.

    Rental Units
    • 52-units of rental housing – 34 two bedroom flats and 18 three bedroom townhouses
    • Community building and outdoor recreational space
    • Tenant Income Range: 35% of state median income to 60% of area median income

    For Sale Units
    • 10 for sale three bedroom townhouses
    • Purchaser Income Qualification: 100% of area median income

  2. Dont ruin Alameda Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you less. I would not have any low income housing in Alameda because we already have many condo’s and rental units within Alameda for low income people which is why Measure A was enacted. To preventing Victorians from becomming low income housing. Let’s keep our old homes and character of historical Alameda. Those who can’t afford housing can RENT like my wife and I did when we were younger and SAVING for a house. Housing is not a RIGHT in America the last time I checked the constitution.
    If Measure A is overturned and Alameda point along with all of Alameda is overdeveloped I can promise you the traffic will be horiffic, crime will increase, and residence with the ability to move (i.e. the wealthy) will leave Alameda.

    Maybe you will be able to get Measure A overturned. I look forward to converting my house into a 20 familty multiplex and getting all the thugs from Oakland in here under Section 8. Let the government pay me their rent while I let anyone in.

    Then we’ll see just how the schools are affected when many times the number of low income childern come from each property. Oh, did I forget about Police and Firefighters that will be strapped when they are overwhelmed from the population density increase? I don’t recall many wealthy areas with little or no multi-family homes having a problem with their school systems. But WAIT!!! Oakland, Richmond, Hunter’s Point do have multi-family structures for the poor and how are their schools doing? Did we forget about the number of additional Police and Firefighter and Nurses you’ll need to address the increase in crime and emergencies? Maybe that’s where you get your numbers from. However, they will not want to live in Alameda anymore since it will be a crime-ridden dump.

    But of course you are really a housing developer and don’t care about anything more than making a buck off this Island.

    Anyone who uses Firefighters, Teachers, and Nurses is trying to make a good soundbite for the news and is full of BS.

    Hunter’s Point Eastbay here we come!

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