State law preempts elements of Article 26 that would block new affordable housing construction in certain circumstances. It does this through a “density bonus” and waiver that the city is obligated to accept. To qualify, the property must be at least 10,000 square feet in size. This prevents new construction of smaller, mixed-used development with affordable housing that would complement the scale of residential neighborhoods. Additional laws also support increased density in limited circumstances.
Specifically, 90% of the parcels in Alameda zoned for non-single family residential use in the R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5 and R-6 zoning districts and 75% of the mixed-use zoned parcels on Park Street and Webster Street are ineligible for density bonuses and waivers which would allow construction of three or more units. Only 2% of the land in Alameda is currently zoned to permit multi-family housing by right. This causes a lot of affordable housing to go unbuilt, denying families, young people, and seniors the dream of a life in our community.