If developers already use the density bonus and the City can only designate certain sites for multi-family, why do we need to repeal Article 26? If repealed, how will this change?


The city has been able to utilize the density bonus and requirements from the state because of certain pre-existing sites where larger developments could occur in keeping with state law. Even at this time, it put pressure on the city to look for commercial sites that could be zoned for mixed-use. This included the Crab Cove site that was required for state certification and resulted in a ballot initiative to change the zoning. A lawsuit with the developer was avoided when they decided not to pursue the project. In 2022, Alameda will receive a new housing allotment that is expected to be 2.3 times bigger than the last. As the state requires housing sites to be situated throughout the city, not passing Measure Z will increase the pressure on the city to rely on sites like Harbor Bay Landing, Marina Village, South Shore, etc. because reliance on the density bonus requires multi-acre sites.

As always, it's important to remember that Article 26 does not limit the amount of housing, as minimums are governed by the State. It limits the types of housing, forcing sprawling development where it needn't occur. It also severely restricts affordable "grandparent units" on existing plots. The state's mandated density bonus doesn't invalidate Article 26, but by severely restricting where the city can meet housing needs, it does make smarter housing design with more affordable housing less practical and less transit-accessible.