In today’s Chronicle, Chip Johnson helpfully points out that on development, much like every other issue facing the city, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is MIA.
Of course he was not at the Emerald Views meeting, so who knows if he has even seen renderings of the project. From what I hear, he’s not much for meeting with developers (although he apparently has plenty of free time for “industrial preservation” lobbyists). Anyway, this is what his spokeswoman, Karen Stevenson said:
“In order to do what (the Association of Bay Area Governments) is asking us to do, we don’t need a 42-story building,” Stevenson said, referring to the Lake Merritt proposal unveiled this week. “We can do it with five- and six- story buildings.”
First, it seems like it is already damn near impossible to get a five story building approved in this town. Just ask Roy Alper.
Second, she’s wrong. ABAG wants us to build 14,629 homes in the next seven years, 27% of those for low-income and very low-income residents. Dellums seems to think that the best way to increase Oakland’s supply of affordable housing is to wait around for the state to distribute some bond money and then try to take credit for it. But in reality, the best way to increase the affordable housing supply is by raising more of our own money earmarked for it through the tax increment on projects exactly like this.
The way Dellums is constantly whining about how we don’t have any resources in our budget to solve our own problems, you think he’d be excited about a project that will contribute over $30 million in property taxes in 10 years.