Thanks from SAWW for all the resources and advice

When starting a new campaign, the last thing you want to do is spend time and money on all the organizational details that are necessary to function in a business-like manner. You need a checking account, treasurer, post office box, and a little web presence. Alameda Citizens Taskforce (ACT) can help an organization with these functions. When “Save Alameda’s Working Waterfront” (SAWW) began, I knew these resources were available through ACT.

In addition, ACT has given SAWW an advisor to help organize us and the ACT Steering Committee serves SAWW in an advisory capacity. The ACT Steering Committee is comprised of volunteers who have served as professionals in areas that offer the experience of a unique set of backgrounds. By attending their Steering Committee meetings to give progress reports, I find the perspectives offered to be very helpful to guide SAWW through our challenges.  If SAWW gets into a situation where we need to gather signatures, I know ACT will be there to help us to organize/manage  volunteers and schedules. ACT members also help speak at City Council and Planning Board meetings adding critical voice numbers in the council chambers.

Some Alameda activist groups have done very good jobs at running their campaigns without ACT but I found the help SAWW has received from ACT extremely helpful and we have been able to spend our donated money directly on our campaign needs rather than on organizational expenses, both start up and on-going.

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Who’s interested in the Marina, and how you can help save it

While Bay West works on their Environmental Impact Report (EIR), SAWW has been busy working with city government and local sailors to get our message to as many potential supporters as we can. Some of the actions we are taking now are:

  1. SAWW and Alameda’s local preservation group (Alameda Architectural Preservation Society or AAPS) are working together to get the buildings at the marina listed on the local list of historic resources which would make it more difficult for building demolitions. We attended and spoke at the Alameda Historic Advisory Board last Thursday regarding this issue and will be attending a Planning Board meeting at the end of the month to ask them to initiate this process.
  2. Bay West’s “historian” wrote a sub-optimal report stating only 3 of the 30 historic buildings are historic when a prior evaluation stated they all are assigned a code (3D) which makes them eligible for the National Registry of Historic Places. AAPS and SAWW are asking the city to require the “historian” to write a better report and a peer review of the report. Alameda’s local architectural historian has met with Bay West’s and is working with him to make sure the report correctly identifies the historic resources. This is an important element of the EIR as a cultural resource.
  3. Members of SAWW and AAPS are meeting individually with Planning Board members to get their support for initiation of local listing and to educate them about SAWW and our goals to save the working waterfront.
  4. SAWW is working on an electronic repository of documents relative to Alameda Marina and the Bay West project and a potential website to access the repository.
  5. The city’s Planning and Economic Development Departments have started a series of meetings with SAWW, the housing advocates and a representative from Bay West. The Economic Development Department has hired a consulting group to help the city develop a strategic plan for economic development. The consultants will be releasing their final report soon but the last public meeting they held showed they, and the response from the general public, are leaning towards maritime businesses. SAWW believes this will be a positive support to save the working waterfront.
  6. SAWW has reached out to the organization that recently was instrumental in Richmond’s efforts to thwart development at the waterfront. “Citizens for East Shore Parks” is interested in working with SAWW to keep Alameda Marina a working waterfront in Alameda.



1. Liz Taylor, President of Doer Marine at Alameda Marina (submarine maker) had a good conversation with a person from the coastal commission (CC). The CC does not handle issues in the bay but they gave Liz good insight about BCDC, the organization that does. To further Liz’s discussions with the Coastal Commission, She is asking for:

  • A volunteer to put together a map or send her info on marinas/working waterfronts that have been lost to developers over past 10, 15, 25 years?  They think we can build a case for special protection for the remaining working waterfront in Alameda and maybe elsewhere in the bay. You can reach Liz at

The Coastal Commission suggested that people attend and speak up at BCDC meetings too. Apparently they are not heavily attended by citizens so anytime people show up they are heard.

BCDC meeting, February 16, 2017

1:00 p.m.
Bay Area Metro Center
375 Beale Street
Yerba Buena, First Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105


2. We need people to write letters of concern to the City Council and Planning Board Members and cc BCDC. (Address above) Topics for letters include:

  • Loss of access to water
  • Loss of skilled jobs
  • Duration of maritime users at Marina i.e. Doer 25 years, IYC 17 years, Svendsens? Doyle? Hogan?
  • Possible disruption of sequestered toxins
  • Cost difference between repair to shoreline required by lease vs amount required to put houses there
  • Public Safety
  • Traffic
  • Impacts of already approved developments along the northern waterfront that are yet to be realized

Please send letters to the addresses in How to write to City officials. (Note that Planning Board member David Burton has recused himself from this project.)

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January 25, 2017: ACT 1st Quarterly Meeting

(Traffic, Open Space, Affordable Housing)

Plan to attend this important meeting. . . . . .

Alameda Citizens Task Force Quarterly Meeting

Wednesday, January 25, 7 – 9 PM
Alameda Hospital, 2070 Clinton Avenue
2nd floor conference room.

Learn about the City plans and how you can get involved. . . .

Luxury High-End Apartments or Affordable & Workforce Housing
at Alameda Point’s Site A

15-Story towers along the waterfront at Encinal Terminals

Losing 40plus Maritime Businesses and
Historic Buildings at Alameda Marina

Rezoning Alameda High School’s Thompson Field to “Commercial”
so the land can be sold for development

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ACT supports SAWW action to keep businesses and jobs at Alameda Marina

Alameda Marina is located on the Northern Waterfront, along Clement Avenue between Union Street and Willow Street. The Marina has three major functions that are important to Alameda’s future.

  • The Marina is the home of 84 businesses employing approximately 250 middle class workers. There are many maritime related businesses that serve commercial, governmental and the general boating community, plus software companies, architects, attorneys, a golf-related shop, a martial arts school etc.
  • Alameda has the second largest number of marina slips in California. The Alameda Marina provides services that pleasure and commercial boaters need. The boatyard allows for boat owners to do the work on their boats themselves, keeping access to the water affordable for middle class families. Alameda is also home to 40 house boats and many boat owners “live aboard”.
  • Alameda’s Marina is the present day version of the Barnes and Tibbitts Shipyard which made parts for vessels that saw action during WWII. Because the buildings are intact, they are eligible for designation on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the buildings at the Marina were built before 1942 so they are available for the National Registry of Historic Places.

The Alameda Marina is open to the public during daytime hours. Visit. Plan an outing on the waterfront.

The Alameda Marina is approximately 43 acres. 26 acres are privately owned by Pacific Shops and the remaining 17.04 acres are Tide Land Trust (TLT) that the City manages for the State of California. TLT land can only be used for maritime and recreational purposes and is currently leased from the city by Pacific Shops. In 2012, the city of Alameda identified locations for housing units including the Alameda Marina. Like the Alameda Marina, not all that land was vacant and underutilized.   Now, the Marina businesses, and their employees are in danger of being forced to leave.

The businesses at Alameda Marina provide services to clients beyond the Alameda community. These services are invaluable to Bay Area boaters, commercial and pleasure. The Svendsen’s Boatyard is the only full service boatyard in the Central and South Bay. Svendsens Boatyard, recently purchased by Bay Ship and Yacht and located in the marina, provides “Do It Yourself” repair areas as well as full service repairs, commissions new boats, and maintains municipal boats. There are 1, 2, & 3 ton hoists to haul boats in/out of the water. There is dry dock storage for boats and RV’s, 530 berths in the water, a chandlery shop, a floating dock for house boat repair, and a wash down area.

The city of Alameda requires Pacific Shops to maintain the land it leases to ensure a marina will be located there in the future. Pacific Shops has been replacing docks and has undertaken several projects to properly maintain the facilities for the marina using its current operating funds. At issue is a $20 million upgrade to the seawall which Pacific Shops claims that building 670 housing units is required to fund the project. Their lease does not stipulate that Pacific Shops is expected to bear this expense or complete this project.

Bay Ship and Yacht has said they will not change operations of Svendsens Boatworks at Alameda Marina for the foreseeable future. The proposed plan that Bay West has submitted to the city does not show any area for Svendsens Boatworks and a vastly reduced area for dry storage of boats. Obviously, Bay Ship and Yacht will need to relocate the boatyard, perhaps to its Alameda location or possibly to its Richmond facility. The loss of these services will mean the loss of maritime services at Alameda Marina which currently work as its own ecosystem.   If we lose the maritime services, the boating communities will relocate away from Alameda.

The boating community and local neighbors have created Save Alameda’s Working Waterfront (SAWW) to oppose the demolition of 30 historic structures and displacing the existing businesses that operate within these buildings. SAWW proposes expansion of the businesses to include additional incubator space including light industrial, maritime related retail and commercial enterprises and creation of live/work space and affordable housing.

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Member meeting, May 2016: Alameda Marina

May 18, 2016

Speakers on their Visions for the Alameda Marina

Frank Matarrese, Alameda’s Vice Mayor, and

Nancy Hird, representing SAWW (Save Alameda’s Working Waterfront)

How can we help Frank accomplish his goals:

  • In MX-zoned sites, commercial activity should be maintained and grown
  • For Alameda Marina, the maritime industrial activity should be maintained to meet the ready market.
  • Any housing at MX-zoned sites should be such to adapt to the commercial/ industrial environment (not the other way around).
  • If no commercial activity is present at the MX-zoned site at the time of the application, the developer has to provide details on what commercial uses they are going to deliver

How can we support the efforts of SAWW:

  • Preserving the 84 established businesses and 240 existing jobs
  • Protecting the 22 Historic Buildings
  • Contribute positively to Traffic Mitigation along the Clement Corridor
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