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|Alameda County, CA||November 4, 2014 Election|
TOD Plan (Transit Oriented Development)
By Diana SouzaCandidate for Mayor; City of San Leandro
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There are several issues regarding the TOD (Transit Oriented Development Plan) that I feel need addressing: the housing mix on the Bridge Project, the best way to utilize affordable housing, and the overall role of housing within the TOD.
The Bridge Project was originally planned as 500 units of market rate housing and 200 units of affordable. We need to construct both types of housing in the area because one of the stated goals of the TOD is to improve the average income level downtown to make us more attractive to retailers looking to locate here. We are making a major push to attract good new jobs to the city, and while we hope that many of these jobs will go to people already living here, shortening their commute and improving their quality of life, we need to make sure there are housing options available for new job recipients seeking to move to San Leandro.
We need workforce housing, but we can be smarter about how we utilize it. Many teachers qualify for workforce housing. By giving priority to employees of our two local school districts we help attract better teachers for our kids. We always talk about wanting San Leandro to be a place where our children and grandchildren can remain if they wish. Here is a way to help make that happen. By giving priority to former or current San Leandro residents, we help college graduates return to their hometown, help high school graduates looking to move out on their own for the first time, and help new families looking to purchase their first home.
The TOD Plan as a whole needs to be reviewed by the Council. Long range planning is fine, but when circumstances change you need to make sure you're still on the right track and in control of the situation. The TOD is premised on two ideas, people want housing near transit, and the way to revitalize downtown is through increased density. Our top 3 housing locations in the plan were the Albertson's site, the Hayes-Davis-E.14th triangle, and the Bridge Project. Because of market conditions there will no longer be housing on Albertson's, Town Hall Square (the triangle project) died with redevelopment, and the Bridge Project went from 700 units to 200. Does TOD work without housing? The answer may be yes, but we need to ask the question and have the discussion.
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