Happy Spring, Neighbors!
I hope that all of you have had a great start to the spring season. The city has been busy at work readying many livability and infrastructure projects for work this year. There are a number of private development projects being proposed as well. Please read below to get updates on a number of items of interest to the community.
Resident Advisory Committees
One of the best ways for residents to get involved is through a Resident Advisory Committee. Residents can apply for positions on our housing, economic development and public art committees, among others. The application process is currently open. Please visit this page for more information or contact City Clerk Sheri Hartz at [email protected] for more information.
Many projects are current underway or in the development process before the city’s Planning Commission. As a reminder, you can watch Planning Commission meetings at 6:30pm on the 4th Thursday of the month online or on ETV Channel 27. Info on agendas, videos of past meetings and minutes can be found on this page.
- Last month, the planning commission approved an application by the owners of Bay Street to tear down the former Old Navy building and replace it with a new grocery store. That project will get underway soon.
- This past week, the commission conducted a study session on a proposed new project on Overland Street to complement the existing Wareham Life Sciences Campus.
- The city council will hold a study session on revising the Final Development Plan for parcels A & B of the Public Market on April 5th.
- The Planning Commission approved a proposal to name the Emeryville Transit Center/Amtrak Station after former City Councilmember Nora Davis and add signage.
The State’s Eviction Moratorium is set to expire on March 31, 2022. The state law does not permit the city to extend the moratorium beyond the end of this state protection. Tenants who have faced financial challenges during the pandemic should know about several resources and rights they have here in Alameda County and the City of Emeryville:
- The State’s COVID-19 Rent Relief Program is open through March 31st. Please visit this page to apply before the deadline if you qualify for assistance.
- The City of Emeryville has an Eviction Anti-Harassment Ordinance. All tenants in the city are protected under these provisions. Please know your rights by visiting our city’s resource page.
- The city can provide you with information but not legal assistance on private landlord-tenant or foreclosure matters. If you are a low-income household and would like to speak to someone, Alameda County Housing Secure can connect you with legal resources and assistance. Please see the website link above or call the agencies on the flyer below for more assistance.
In January, I was elected chair of the Alameda County Transportation Commission. Alameda CTC is the agency that oversees local transportation funding, including Measure BB, approved by Alameda County voters in 2014. This Wednesday I will host a countywide retreat for commissioners. Among the priorities I will introduce for the coming year, include:
- Creation of a Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (JEDI) Committee to develop a countywide Racial Equity Action Plan to ensure that all contracts, procurements and internal processes are done with attention to racial equity.
- Develop and approve a countywide Bicycle Corridor Network Plan to make the county available for state and federal active transportation funding.
- Prioritize county funding for infrastructure projects that will address existing unsafe conditions in High-Injury areas that have resulted in repeated crashes that harm pedestrians, cyclists, or drivers.
- Integrate the county’s transportation mission with regional climate action goals and a clean energy future for commuters and goods movement.
Emeryville will be competing for regional funding this year at Alameda CTC to fund several transportation projects that can make our city safer for walking and cycling, and more reliable for transit. The council will select which projects to submit for funding grants later this spring, with funding awards to be announced in the fall.
The long-awaited Railroad Crossing/Quiet Zone project at 65th/66th/67th Streets will begin this year. Funding was awarded in 2018 but the project was delayed due to design objections by the UPRR. Those issues have been resolved and the project will begin in a few months.
The California Strategic Growth Council awarded the Nellie Hannon Gateway Affordable Housing Project at 3600 San Pablo Avenue over $20 Million in competitive statewide funding recently. Half of that funding will be used to fund low-income affordable housing units, as well as a permanent location for ECAP. The balance of those funds will be used for transit improvements, including construction of the 40th Street Multi-Modal Corridor Project. I have had meetings with our state representatives and sent them a letter on behalf of the city seeking their assistance in securing state funding for our local project.
100% Renewable Energy Coming to Emeryville
This past week, the City Council voted unanimously to enroll the entire city in East Bay Community Energy’s Renewable 100 Plan. That transition will take place later this year. While residents will have the ability to individually opt-out, the city will join others here in the East Bay in sourcing our energy from 100% renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. Councilmember Dianne Martinez is the Board Chair of EBCE.
Citywide Town Halls
As many of you know, I conduct regular town hall meetings around the city. These are set up by apartment buildings, HOAs, and sometimes even neighborhood groups. These meetings exist to give residents the opportunity to engage directly with your elected officials on issue of importance or interest to you. They can be in-person or virtual. If you would like to have one of these Q&A events, please email me at [email protected] to set something up.
I will be holding several citywide town halls over zoom in the next few months to discuss the feedback we received from the recent city survey of residents and businesses, the state of the city, our ongoing COVID recovery, and potential ballot measures for the 2022 general election. Stay tuned for more information!
There are many other projects underway. Please read my January update for additional timelines and details on new parks and shoreline upgrades that will be happening this year.
If you have questions about any of these updates that aren’t answered by the resources provided, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy spring!
Mayor John J. Bauters
Follow me on Twitter at @JohnBauters for more frequent updates