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Crown Harbor Homeowner Association

Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center

Alameda Point Collaborative (APC) is a supportive housing community that uses all its resources to help families and individuals break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. They are the largest supportive housing provider for homeless families in Alameda County, and their wide range of services give residents the tools they need for long-term success. APC plans to develop the Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center on the Federal property adjacent to Crown Harbor.

"When any act of charity or of gratitude is presented to our sight or imagination, we are deeply impressed with its beauty or feel a strong desire in ourselves of doing charitable or grateful acts also."
— Thomas Jefferson*

Crown Harbor will not take a position as a homeowner association. Instead, the individual owners and residents will be given information, and each can act individually. The Crown Harbor community can choose to support or oppose the project. As the position on the project is not unanimous, no association money will be spent on supporting nor opposing the establishment of the facility. When the project first became known, the community worried it was a homeless shelter with services such as a warming center. As more information became available, the project is not as bad as they first feared; however, there are legitimate concerns to be considered. The purpose of this page is to share information so that the Crown Harbor community can make an informed decision.

Here is a summary of the pros and cons of the proposed project.

Benefits Concerns
  • 80 to 90 units of supportive housing living for aging, homeless and medically vulnerable individuals in Alameda County (more...)
  • 50-bed Medical Respite program for homeless individuals with medically complex conditions departing from hospitals or undergoing intensive medical treatment (more...)
  • Federally Qualified Health Clinic for on-site medical and behavioral health care for residents and clients (more...)
  • Resource Center to serve Alameda County residents experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness (more...)
  • $40M spent locally to improve the site (more...)
  • Enhanced physical environment with well-designed, landscaped, and attractive facilities (more...)
  • New employment opportunities created (more...)
  • County cost savings across systems (police, ambulance, mental health, hospital and long-term care) (more...)
  • Abides by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (more...)
  • Abides by the National Fair Housing Act (more...)
  • Although neighbors fear that property values will go down, studies by the National Association of Realtors and San Mateo County (equal housing values as those in Alameda) found no correlation between homeless services and decreases in property values. (more...)
  • Based on the experience of a resident (not a formal study) who has worked in San Francisco for 20 years, there is an increase in crime, not from those served, but from a criminal element that preys on the homeless. This experience is only relevant to homeless waiting for the resource center and would not apply to patients in hospital beds or seniors in assisted living. (more...)
  • Based on reports from neighbors adjacent to Sweeney Park, noise pollution results from shouting, fighting, and screaming from persons with serious health, drug, or mental issues. Neighbors reported significant improvements once services were provided. (more...)
  • Although nearby schools and the Alameda Unified School Board are in favor of the project, many consider mixing school children with the mentally ill as ill-advised. (more...)
  • Colocating services near the proposed Veterans Hospital would allow veterans to receive services at one stop. (more...)
  • Expanding the number of beds at Alameda Hospital (as part of its earthquake retrofit) could leverage existing medical staff and avoid ambulances on busy Webster Street and ill-equipped McKay Avenue. (more...)
  • In compliance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and National Fair Housing Act, the project is following the Health and Human Services directive for completing the environmental analysis (General Administration Manual Part 30 Environmental Protection), and as such, the opportunities for public input have been lacking. (more...)
  • There is no guarantee that Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center advisory group feedback will be considered in a deliberative manner and timeframe. (more...)
  • With ~200 homeless in the city of Alameda and 10 acres already designated at Alameda Point, hasn't the city done its fair share? With ~5,000 homeless in Alameda County, what are the cities of Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Livermore, Pleasanton, Union City, Dublin, Newark, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont doing to serve the homeless? (more...)
  • Although East Bay Regional Parks has specifically stated on the record that Measure WW was never intended for the purchase of the proposed site, voters passed Measure WW in 2008 with the expectation that 7.5 acres would designated for open space. To date, only 3.89 acres have been used for Crab Cove expansion. (more...)
  • Only Solano County ranks behind Alameda County in open space, so Friends of Crab Cove are collecting signatures for a November 2018 ballot initiative to let the voters decide the fate of the proposed site. If passed, Friends of Crab Cove would like the city to acquire the property and convert it to open space. (more...)
  • Patients in hospital beds or seniors in assisted living would have no need to form an encampment; however, based on images of: homeless sleeping in the grass next to Crab Cove, a tent, and a discarded syringe, additional homeless may camp out overnight at Crab Cove or Crown Beach while waiting for the resource center. The counter argument is that providing services can reduce the number of homeless on McKay Avenue. (more...)
  • Given site's history, the opportunity to use it as extension of Crab Cove with a marine laboratory for students (in-place, state-of-the-art ventilation system) and history museum for Neptune Beach would be lost forever. This is a long shot as many hurdles would have to be overcome. (more...)
Benefits
  • 80 to 90 units of supportive housing living for aging, homeless and medically vulnerable individuals in Alameda County (more...)
  • 50-bed Medical Respite program for homeless individuals with medically complex conditions departing from hospitals or undergoing intensive medical treatment (more...)
  • Federally Qualified Health Clinic for on-site medical and behavioral health care for residents and clients (more...)
  • Resource Center to serve Alameda County residents experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness (more...)
  • $40M spent locally to improve the site (more...)
  • Enhanced physical environment with well-designed, landscaped, and attractive facilities (more...)
  • New employment opportunities created (more...)
  • County cost savings across systems (police, ambulance, mental health, hospital and long-term care) (more...)
  • Abides by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (more...)
Concerns
  • Although neighbors fear that property values will go down, studies by the National Association of Realtors and San Mateo County (equal housing values as those in Alameda) found no correlation between homeless services and decreases in property values. (more...)
  • Based on the experience of a resident (not a formal study) who has worked in San Francisco for 20 years, there is an increase in crime, not from those served, but from a criminal element that preys on the homeless. This experience is only relevant to homeless waiting for the resource center and would not apply to patients in hospital beds or seniors in assisted living. (more...)
  • Based on reports from neighbors adjacent to Sweeney Park, noise pollution results from shouting, fighting, and screaming from persons with serious health, drug, or mental issues. Neighbors reported significant improvements once services were provided. (more...)
  • Although nearby schools and the Alameda Unified School Board are in favor of the project, many consider mixing school children with the mentally ill as ill-advised. (more...)
  • Colocating services near the proposed Veterans Hospital would allow veterans to receive services at one stop. (more...)
  • Expanding the number of beds at Alameda Hospital (as part of its earthquake retrofit) could leverage existing medical staff and avoid ambulances on busy Webster Street and ill-equipped McKay Avenue. (more...)
  • In compliance with the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act and National Fair Housing Act, the project is following the Health and Human Services directive for completing the environmental analysis (General Administration Manual Part 30 Environmental Protection), and as such, the opportunities for public input have been lacking. (more...)
  • There is no guarantee that Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center advisory group feedback will be considered in a deliberative manner and timeframe. (more...)
  • With ~200 homeless in the city of Alameda and 10 acres already designated at Alameda Point, hasn't the city done its fair share? With ~5,000 homeless in Alameda County, what are the cities of Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Livermore, Pleasanton, Union City, Dublin, Newark, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont doing to serve the homeless? (more...)
  • Although East Bay Regional Parks has specifically stated on the record that Measure WW was never intended for the purchase of the proposed site, voters passed Measure WW in 2008 with the expectation that 7.5 acres would designated for open space. To date, only 3.89 acres have been used for Crab Cove expansion. (more...)
  • Only Solano County ranks behind Alameda County in open space, so Friends of Crab Cove are collecting signatures for a November 2018 ballot initiative to let the voters decide the fate of the proposed site. If passed, Friends of Crab Cove would like the city to acquire the property and convert it to open space. (more...)
  • Patients in hospital beds or seniors in assisted living would have no need to form an encampment; however, based on images of: homeless sleeping in the grass next to Crab Cove, a tent, and a discarded syringe, additional homeless may camp out overnight at Crab Cove or Crown Beach while waiting for the resource center. The counter argument is that providing services can reduce the number of homeless on McKay Avenue. (more...)
  • Given site's history, the opportunity to use it as extension of Crab Cove with a marine laboratory for students (in-place, state-of-the-art ventilation system) and history museum for Neptune Beach would be lost forever. This is a long shot as many hurdles would have to be overcome. (more...)

These pros and cons are covered on the remainder of this page. A list of related documents and press coverage also appears near the end of this page.

alameda point collaborative

McKay Avenue Project

  • Population Served

    The Center will serve persons experiencing homelessness in Alameda County, with an emphasis of serving seniors, persons with complex health challenges, and high users of the health care system.

    • This facility will benefit Alameda County, not just the City of Alameda.
    • The County of Alameda has in excess of 5,500 homeless individuals.
    • The City of Alameda has approximately 200 homeless individuals.

    Hospital patients are referred by hospitals, health providers, and the Community Paramedics program. For medical, it is not a drop-in service. There are no plans to operate an outpatient drug clinic at the site.

    As a resource center for the homeless, APC estimates 7 to 10 clients per day.

  • Site Selection

    The Federal property originally consisted of 6 buildings. One building has been razed as part of the Crab Cove Expansion that is proceeding as planned. The APC project includes reconstruction or renovation and adaptive re-use of the 5 remaining buildings at the site, located on McKay Avenue next to Crab Cove.

    site plan

    Building 1 (largest one closest to Central AVE) may be demolished and rebuilt, but the plan for the other buildings is to refurbish them.

    APC selected the site because that is where the Federal buildings are located. Federal law (Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act) dictates that surplus properties be made available to those serving the homeless.

    APC didn't choose the location, the location chose APC , via the Federal homeless determination process. APC considers it an ideal location to provide homeless elders and others with acute medical and end of life conditions with a dignified place to live out their days or to recuperate after hospitalization. APC notes that the site is within reasonable distance of a number of hospitals, including Alameda Hospital, that see homeless patients in their Emergency Room on a frequent and repeated basis, and it is well-served by public transit. In addition, APC will also have vans and other transport to get clients to and from appointments.

  • Services

    National Health Care for the Homeless is providing technical assistance to APC to develop the program.

    The Center will provide 24/7 on-site health care, trauma-informed case management, integrative care, and safe housing placements:

    • 80 to 90 units of supportive housing living for aging, homeless and medically vulnerable individuals in Alameda County

      This will be for homeless, medically frail elders. This will not be a drop-in facility. Residents will be referred from hospitals, and central enrollment system and other providers. Residents will be able to stay permanently.

    • 50-bed Medical Respite program for homeless individuals with medically complex conditions departing from hospitals or undergoing intensive medical treatment

      The 50 units of recuperative care, are also known as medical respite. This will be for homeless being discharged from hospital or with ongoing medical treatment who need follow-up care. This will not be a drop-in facility, intake will happen from hospitals. Clients will stay 1-6 months and be discharged to housing, family, or a shelter. There will be 2 to 4 patients per room. They will not be discharged back to the street.

    • Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC) for on-site medical and behavioral health care for residents and clients

      A medical center will serve the medical and behavioral health needs of the seniors and medical respite clients. APC would like to define senior as "50 years old and above" but existing funding laws may dictate "62 years old and beyond." A 50-year-old homeless person typically has the health of a 75-year-old person with a home.

    • Resource Center to serve Alameda County residents experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness

      A small 2 room resource center will be staffed with outreach and case workers to serve the needs of Alamedan County's homeless and at-risk of homeless, providing them with housing referrals, enrollment in short to mid term subsidies, and referral to employment referrals. This will be a drop-in service, and APC expects to serve 7-10 individuals a day at most. The service will be a one to few time intervention. If there is a need for greater service, they will be referred and transported if needed to a regional hub in San Leandro. APC will likely have the resource center open from around 10 am to 3 pm, maybe 3-5 days a week, depending on need for service and funding. There are a lot of advantages to limiting the hours from 10-3 both from the clients' perspective and the neighborhood perspective. There will at no time be any lining up on the sidewalk or street for the drop-in services. Clients will be asked to wait inside the facility.

    There will be no drop-in overnight stay opportunities at the center. All intakes will come from hospitals or other medical providers such as the Alameda community paramedics programs, and all discharges will be into housing or shelter. The typical stay will be 1-3 months followed by discharge to transitional or permanent housing.

    APC has 3 years to complete any rehab and begin operations.

  • Staffing

    The complete staffing for the project is still to be worked out, and depends on the medical acuity of the clients (higher acuity = more staff) but APC expects 50 FTE on site:

    • 24/7 medical (e.g., doctor, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses) and behavioral health staff, kitchen, 24/7 security, drivers, etc.
    • local college and university interns to assist in activities of daily living
  • Security

    As with any facility on McKay, APC is only responsible for issues inside the gates of the facility.

    • APC does not expect issues from the patients under their care (who have limited mobility), seniors living on their premises, or the 7-10 clients per day that take advantage of the resource center.
    • As part of its plans, APC will improve the lighting on McKay Avenue and keep the existing fencing.
    • Although The Urban Institute report noted that most disorderly conduct reports occur with 500 feet proximity of the supportive site, those fall under the jurisdiction of the Alameda Police Department.
    • Security at Crab Cove is covered by EBRPD working with Alameda Police.

    From Nextdoor.com:

    "Rather than just blindly be fearful of a drop-in center, it would be so much more productive if we could set some norms around how they would want us to operate the center so it doesn't impact the neighborhood — No street parking, check; No lining up outside, check; No distribution of needles or prepared food, check; No drop-in overnight stays, check. What else?"
    — Doug Biggs, Executive Director for Alameda Point Collaborative

    Though Crown Harbor is a gated community, by city ordinance, the gates remain open from sunup to sundown so that the public can use and enjoy the seaside path.

  • Community Benefits

    • $40M will be spent locally to improve the site.
    • The surrounding neighborhood will gain an enhanced physical environment with the transformation of vacant buildings into well designed, landscaped and attractive facilities.
    • A number of new employment opportunities will be created.
    • The City of Alameda and Alameda County will expand resources for vulnerable residents and attain cost savings across systems (police, ambulance, mental health, hospital and long-term care).
issues

Issues for Adjacent Neighborhoods like Crown Harbor

Though Crown Harbor community members are not unanimous with regard to the project, the issues (appearing on Nextdoor.com) that could potentially affect adjacent neighborhoods (including Crown Harbor) are:

  • Reduction of Property Values

    According to Realtor.com, homeless shelters tend to appear in lower-priced neighborhoods:

    "Homeless shelter
    The drag: 12.7%
    Homeless shelters can be unloved and unwanted misfits in residential areas. Even though there's no rule that homeless shelters are usually accompanied by higher rates of crime, shelters do certainly attract motley groups of people, necessitate emergency calls, and require more police in otherwise quiet, safe neighborhoods. Shelter locations, listed on homelessshelterdirectory.org, are often limited to less prime areas in the city where home values are about 13% less."

    The plans for a warming center (i.e., homeless shelter) have been dropped. Even without the warming center, APC 's community presentation notes that the facility will be a "Resource and Drop-in Center for Alameda [County] residents at risk for homelessness or newly homeless."

    In contrast to Realtor.com, according to CityLimits.org:

    "A study released by NYU's Furman Center in 2008 found that supportive housing in New York City does not have a negative impact on nearby property values. In fact, the authors found that, five years after a supportive development opens, nearby property values tend to have risen more than in similar areas with no such facility."

    According to a study that included the National Association of REALTORS®:

    "Myth: My property value will decline if you build supportive housing nearby.
     Fact: Property values do not decline when supportive housing is built nearby."

    As the Realtor.com article points out, supportive housing tends to be located in poorer areas where property values are declining, so it is no wonder that the CityLimits.org article (as well as The Urban Institute) noted an increase in property values in areas where facilities were established as this was an improvement in what existed prior.

    Unlike the areas in the studies, Crown Harbor property values are not currently in decline. Recently, units in Crown Harbor have sold for ~$1.2M. A 12.7% drop in value is $154,200. With 76 units, that a loss of $11,582,400 for Crown Harbor owners and valuation for assessment of property taxes for the City of Alameda. Would establishment of this facility cause realtors to consider Crown Harbor as a low income area where buyers can submit a lower offering price? Unfortunately, there is no study where homeless services were added to an established, highly valued area, and the property values were maintained. It remains an open question.

    "In this hyper real estate market, I'm not even sure you can do a fair assessment of the impact of a facility on the surrounding neighborhood. For example, Shinsei Gardens, a supportive housing project, was built after Bayport was opened, and home values in Bayport have skyrocketed after its construction, but likely not due to Shinsei Gardens being built. I've actually reached out to Saint Mary's College (we have a strong partnership with them) to see if one of their grad programs would be interested in taking on this research."
    — Doug Biggs, Executive Director for APC 
  • Increase in Crime

    According to ValleyNews.com:

    "Statistically speaking, an individual who is homeless is much more likely to be a victim of a violent crime than actually commit a violent crime," explained Mark Heinert, Homeless Program Manager for Youthworks, a statewide agency aiding young people in need of assistance.

    According to The Guardian:

    "Crime can play a big part in rough sleepers' lives. Nearly 30% admitted to committing a 'minor crime such as shoplifting or anti-social behavior' in the hope of being taken into custody for the night."

    According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information:

    "Violent crime associated with drug treatment centers is similar to that associated with liquor stores and is less frequent than that associated with convenience stores and corner stores."

    According to The Furman Center of New York University:

    "Myth: Crime will go up in my neighborhood if you build supportive housing nearby.
     Fact: Crime does not increase when supportive housing is built."

    As recently as May 2018, The Guardian reported:

    "Guardian study of two US cities finds crime is likelier to go down than up in neighborhoods that host city-sanctioned encampments; [however,] there is a distinction between these villages and the ad hoc, curbside agglomerations of tents and tarps that have come to symbolize the surging homelessness crisis in many cities across the western US. All these villages have the sanction, explicit or tacit, of officials, are largely self-governing, and have defined boundaries and codes of conduct."

    Studies aside, concern about crime is backed up by a Crown Harbor resident with observations and experience of working in San Francisco. This is often not the result of the homeless but a criminal element that invades the area to prey on the homeless. As is the case in San Francisco, the concern is that the Alameda Police Department will be inundated with calls that they cannot respond to.

    From Alameda Peeps:

    "Just wondering how including unsigned 'observations' about chronically homeless individuals on the streets of San Francisco are 'based in fact.' These observations should be paired with the actual fact that the reason why there is so much visible homelessness in that area of San Francisco is because that's where the concentration of services for homeless individuals are (emergency shelters, food banks, soup kitchens, free clinics, methadone treatment, etc.) because other neighborhoods have done precisely what is being requested here by opponents: isolate and concentrate homeless individual/family services in one area of Alameda."
    — Lauren Do
  • Noise Pollution

    From NextDoor.com:

    "The residents of this area probably have good reason to be concerned about drawing this population to that site. I live adjacent to what is now becoming the Jean Sweeney Park, and that site was a draw to a homeless population, with major consequences to safety and quality of life. There was a stabbing, there were multiple accidental fires set, and used needles left all over. There was fighting and screaming, day and night, sometimes for hours at a time (that's not hyperbole, for example, someone yelled "I will beat your f^%$ing ass!" over and over again for 4 hours on one occasion. That kind of thing was common). There were large breed, off leash, unattended dogs. There were incidents of one kind or another almost daily. I understand people camping out in the field is different then what would hopefully go on at this proposed facility, but some of the chaos I saw here could certainly start happening at Crab Cove if enough people struggling with those types of problems were drawn to the area. Perhaps this facility is a worthy project, but IMO the discussion about the potential consequences should be honest and consider all the possibilities."
    — Matt Bruun, Middle Alameda

    Persons with serious health, drug, or mental issues sometimes create noise of shouting, fighting, and screaming.

  • Proximity to Schools

    The facility would be located near Montessori, Paden Elementary, and Encinal High schools. Mixing children with persons with serious health, drug, or mental issues is ill-advised. Often part of school field trips, the adjacent Crab Cove Visitor Center connects school children of all ages with the marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history.

    From NextDoor.com:

    "8:00 AM. Just finished walking my dogs at Crab Cove, turquoise tent pitched behind the Park Webster apartments, Lower Washington bathrooms next to the low income housing. Then at the beach, 200 feet away, a young man with two toddlers had a fishing pole stuck in sand, line in the water. He was reading to the two youngsters from a book while waiting for a catch."
    — Barbara Thomas, Gold Coast

    The resource center will be open from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm to begin operation after school starts and conclude operation before school lets out. APC has met with the school district and local schools who are in favor of the plans as it is an opportunity to teach students about compassion. In addition, it would be politically incorrect for a school district to go on record as anti-homeless.

    As reported in the Alameda Peeps Facebook group, Child Unique Montessori School and Paden School are on board with the project.

  • Improved Support for Veterans

    Many of Alameda County's homeless are veterans who have served our country. Alameda Point is slated to have a Veterans Hospital. In appreciation of their service, closer proximity of the facility to the Veterans Hospital would offer synergistic benefits through colocation.

  • Access for Emergency and Service Vehicles

    The site is located near the intersection of Central Avenue and Webster Street. As such, ambulances or other service vehicles need to traverse Webster Street to reach the facility. Webster Street is congested and has many traffic lights. Central Avenue is scheduled for a traffic lane reduction to make room for bicycle lanes. Contrast this to Alameda Point where a vehicle could exit the tube, immediately turn right on Ralph Appezzato Way, and proceed down a multilane road directly to its destination.

    As another possible alternative, if the proposed services were offered at Alameda Hospital as part of expanding it for earthquake retrofitting, the project could leverage the trained staff already at the hospital. This would avoid emergency and service vehicles needing to use McKay Avenue. Also, the hospital is an existing destination for the free Alameda Shuttle which could serve those in need.

  • Lack of an Open Process

    "Those over there are not giants but windmills."
    — Sancho, The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha (a.k.a. Don Quixote), Miguel de Cervantes, 1605.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has conditionally approved the project, and the Environmental Assessment has been completed yet opportunities for public comment have not been available. Nothing is on record with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). Public involvement in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process is critical for the overall framework of informed decision making. Public review serves as a check on accuracy in analysis. Public comments inform agencies about public opinions and values.

    APC is in the process of creating forums for community input and has been meeting with various groups. They are currently interviewing people who can assist them with organizing a meaningful community input process, and they should begin holding meetings in May or June. While this is great, these meetings are not binding. This is quite different from approved plans or documented minutes from a public hearing or a City Council Meeting. In addition, if citizens in opposition voice their concerns in these forums and request termination of the proposed project, the only people in authority that hear them are APC representatives, and they are not inclined to kill the project regardless of the validity of the concerns.

    Sequence of events:

    • GSA independently makes the determination that a federal property is surplus.
    • Housing and Urban Development (HUD) decides if a surplus property is suitable for the homeless independent on whether the site is appropriate in terms of the community. HUD merely evaluates the physical structure. This is done with purpose as communities typically do not welcome the homeless. The National Fair Housing Act was passed specifically for this reason. As such, availability is not subject to zoning restrictions per Title V.
    • The Environmental Analysis (EA) came back with a Finding Of No Significant Impact (FONSI) so that a full Environmental Impact Analysis/Report (EIR) is not required. The HHS NEPA compliance website specifies that there will be no public input after the EA.
    • Appropriateness of the site in terms of the community is typically handled at zoning meetings. The site is currently zoned as Administrative and Professional — Government (AP-G). The City Council will meet to remove the G classification. Regardless of public input, the process is an administrative decision, not a discretionary decision as it is required since APC is not a governmental agency. That will zone the site as AP. APC's plans for the site are covered by the AP zoning, so APC will not be requesting a zoning change in its application for McKay Avenue. Hence, there will be no chance for the public to provide input on the appropriateness of serving the homeless at this location. Furthermore, the socio-economic status of users is not a function of the zoning code, thus zoning cannot dictate whether or not any facility can house homeless or not.
    • As part of the new building construction or existing building renovation, APC will have to go before the Planning Commission to obtain city building permits. This is the only opportunity for the public to provide input.

    This is reminiscent of the process used in the allocation of the immediately adjacent Federal Property that was slated for developer Tim Lewis where voter outcry resulted in the property being allocated to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) for Crab Cove expansion.

  • Stakeholder Advisory Groups Have No Impact

    APC will be establishing Stakeholder Advisory Groups to guide the project and ensure that the project enhances client well-being as well as strengthens the surrounding Alameda community. Previous experience with the City of Alameda and "stakeholder input" on projects such as the Central Avenue lane reduction have been ineffective in mitigating issues that Crown Harbor faces. The main role of the APC stakeholder group is to help set the norms that will accomplish a safe and effective project. These norms will be developed into the operation plan for the project. Though the APC advisory groups will be comprised of residents, small businesses, health care partners, public agencies, and nonprofit service providers, there is no guarantee that advisory group feedback will be considered in a deliberative manner and timeframe.

  • Fair Share

    Although it is estimated that the City of Alameda has a few hundred homeless people, the City has designated 10 acres to APC on the former Naval Air Station to serve the homeless. With a few thousand homeless people estimated for Alameda County, what are the cities of Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Livermore, Pleasanton, Union City, Dublin, Newark, Albany, Emeryville, and Piedmont doing to provide wellness and respite for the homeless? Isn't the City of Alameda already providing its fair share?

issues

Issues related to Crab Cove

The issues that could potentially impact Crab Cove also appearing on Nextdoor.com include:

  • Ignoring the Will of the Voters

    Alameda County and Contra Costa County residents have the expectation that 7.5 acres of surplus Federal properties are designated for the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) based on the passage of Measure WW in 2008 by 72% of the Contra Costa and Alameda County voters. To date, only 3.89 acres have been used for Crab Cove expansion. There are differing opinions if Measure WW or the homeless suitability/surplus designation takes precedence.

    Former Vice Mayor, Barbara Thomas, contends that the parcel map attached to Measure WW clearly includes the land that GSA is handing over to APC:

    Measure WW Map

    As documented on Nextdoor.com here is the history of the parcel:

    • In 1982, Crab Cove became the first Estuarine Marine Reserve in California.
    • In July 2008, EBRPD included line item 18: "Crown Beach — Improve visitor center, restore beach, complete park boundary — $6.5 million to replace and expand Crab Cove interpretive center, currently located in outdated military building. Expand and restore Alameda Beach to increase space for beach recreation and protect the shoreline. Acquire appropriate surplus federal property if it becomes available." as part of ballot Measure WW.
    • In August 2008, the Alameda City Council endorsed Measure WW, which voters enacted in November 2008 with one parcel recorded at county assessor APN 75-1305-026.
    • On November 16, 2015, EBRPD recorded quitclaim deed to purchase a portion of APN 74-1305-026.
    • On May 11, 2016, the Alameda County Assessor's office drafted a new map of original seven-acre parcel APN 74-1305-026 and creates APN 74-1305-026-1 (EBRPD Quitclaim) identified as Neptune Pointe and APN 74-1305-026-2 (U.S.A. General Services Administration) identified as Retained Parcel.

    The people spoke for this parcel (APN 74-1305-026) in Measure WW 2008, reserving its interest in preserving and protecting Crab Cove because it was only one parcel at that time.

    Independent of the passage of Measure WW, EBRPD has signed an agreement that they will not interfere and have no designs on the remaining federal property.

  • Zoned as an Open Space

    According to The Mercury News, only Solano County ranks behind Alameda County in open space:

    "When counties are ranked by the acres they have permanently protected in parks, wildlife refuges, and open space preserves, the Bay Area's largest county, Santa Clara County, is first, with 229,800 acres... Next is Marin, with 185,400 acres; Sonoma with 171,200; Napa with 122,700; Contra Costa with 119,100; San Mateo with 111,000; Alameda with 106,000; and Solano, with 57,000 acres."

    The Friends of Crab Cove have submitted an application for a November 2018 ballot initiative to have the citizens determine the fate of the Federal property on McKay Avenue.

    Once the Alameda City Council removes the Government overlay, the site will be zoned as Administrative and Professional (AP). The proposed ballot initiative would be to zone the area to Open Space (O) to match the portion of the parcel already ceded to EBRPD.

    Under an O designation, the following uses would be allowed:

    • Public and private parks, parkways, playgrounds, beaches, lagoons or lakes, excepting buildings or structures thereon.
    • Public and private golf courses, country clubs, excepting buildings or structures thereon.
    • Public and private land or water preserves.
    • Underground utility installations for local service.

    Despite the desires of the Friends of Crab Cove, EBRPD has signed an agreement that they will not interfere and have no designs on the remaining federal property. This 2015 EBRPD press release celebrates the acquisition of the 3.89 acres but does not stipulate that this amount of land is all that is expected or desired. On June 6, 2018, EBRPD sent a letter to the Alameda City Council indicating that the site is not suitable for park expansion.

    As evidenced by a facetious post on Facebook, zoning to open space does not change the transfer of ownership.

    unprofessional post

  • Homeless Loitering or Encampment

    Though APC notes that the facility is not a homeless shelter but a respite center, here is a Google Map image of the Phillip Dorn Respite Center and adjacent shelter in Concord, CA:

    Phillip Dorn Respite Center

    Because of the adjacent shelter (not the respite center), people are congregating outside of the Concord facility.

    Although APC claims that this would never happen at Crab Cove, here are images from Crab Cove, April 2018 posted on NextDoor.com:

    Crab Cove April 2018

    Homeless are already camping and sleeping at Crab Cove. A Crab Cove visitor found a discarded syringe. The McKay facility will be a respite center for the sick but also a resource center for the newly homeless or in-danger-of-becoming homeless. The respite center may have no effect, but the resource center may attract more homeless and result in more camping.

    APC notes that respite-only facilities conform to the standards of the communities that they are located in such as Napa and Santa Rosa:

    Napa

    Santa Rosa

    From Nextdoor.com:

    "Hi all, I am joining the thread as a supporter of the McKay Respite Facility project — but not without acknowledging the concerns — and fears — people have expressed. ...I live next to the Belt Line (soon-to-be Jean Sweeney Park), where we had a big problem with a few (not all) encamped homeless residents. One of my neighbors RIGHTLY reports that we experienced dangerous fires and constant disorderly conduct. More, worse — used needles on the ground — though these can be found all over. All that came to an end when the Belt Line was cleared for construction, but when the park opens and the trees grow back, I fully expect the homeless to return. Just like it was a magnet. But not because we offer services near here. Since we don't. So it's a little hard for me to buy that the proposed Respite Facility would make the existing "homeless problem" at Crab Cove worse. The homeless will be in the parks because they are public spaces. And the homeless lack options. Set aside, for a moment, kindness and compassion. Out of self interest, we could have benefited from safer, more sanitary conditions — more controlled conditions, supervision, perhaps someone in authority taking responsibility. out on the Belt Line. I would have welcomed that. But that's not what we are talking about with the McKay Respite Facility, since it won't be serving the general homeless population. People might not know or remember: detractors made the same arguments against having homeless services out on the Base when it first closed. Opponents dreamed up all kinds of disasters that never materialized. The opposite: APC has done an amazing job. APC has made me proud to be an Alamedan with their Farm2Market Program and Ploughshares Nursery, which have enhanced our quality of life here. I never dreamed of such community benefits when APC began. I never asked for such, either. Yet here they are. I trust APC. And if Farm2Market, Ploughshares Nursery, and their wide range of services are outcomes of APC's first endeavor, I look forward to the positive outcomes that may arise from developing the McKay Respite Facility.
    — Sherry Stoll, Middle Alameda

    There are already homeless on Webster Street.

    Webster St Homeless
    image from Stu Johnson on Nextdoor.com

    From Nextdoor.com:

    "Webster St - about everyday...
    For those of us who live in and around Webster St, here's what we get to see pretty much every day... Myself and others have called numerous times. They just keep coming back... The group is on the US Bank steps — a long time spot for boozers, druggies, and paroles. Reggie is a sad, home-grown regular. The others are new just this week. Don't guess they're going anywhere anytime soon except spend the day drinking on the benches on Webster St. Very unfortunate for the business owners... We really don't deserve this."
    — Stu Johnson, Central Alameda

    The concern is that the McKay facility will attract the homeless, not from patients being treated by the respite facility, but those waiting to make use of the resource center, much like those from the shelter near the Concord respite center. It is quite possible that even APC recognizes this as the plan for a warming center was removed from the plans for the facility. APC expects only 7-10 clients per day at the resource center, but what is the remedy if that is not the reality?

    From Nextdoor.com:

    "I hear the fears of 'OMG the resource center will bring in a flood of homeless from Oakland' to access services. Much larger resource hubs are being set up in Oakland and other parts of the county that will be much better staffed and equipped to deal with chronically homeless high need individuals. That is not who this resource center is designed to serve. It is really designed to give a quick infusion of resource to prevent someone from becoming homeless in the first place or if they have become recently homeless and could get rehoused with a short to medium term subsidy or other resource (maybe they just need a way to get to a job). I know homeless who are living in cars and working on Webster. I know homeless who are living in cars in Alameda so their kids can keep going to school here while feeling safe. A 3-6 month rent subsidy could get them back into a house and working."
    — Doug Biggs, Executive Director for Alameda Point Collaborative

    Crab Cove has homeless camping there now. With the establishment of the resource center, there is an opportunity to connect those people to services and get them out of Crab Cove. APC staff can occasionally walk the park and attempt to connect the homeless with services. The result may be fewer homeless in Crab Cove instead of more. APC already has services at Alameda Point, so why does the problem persist on Webster Street and McKay Avenue today?

    More specifically:

    "If the establishment of the resource center results in more homeless camping in Crab Cove, then the resource center is not doing its job."
    — Doug Biggs, Executive Director for Alameda Point Collaborative, 04/25/2018, at a meeting with Crown Harbor residents
  • Squandering Educational Opportunities

    McKay Avenue has a rich history to be celebrated:

    • Crab Cove Visitor Center and Aquarium at Crown Memorial State Beach is a jewel of Alameda. Since the Old Wharf Classroom opened in 1968, the cove has been connecting students of all ages with marine and shoreline life, as well as Alameda history. The entertaining educational opportunities increase students' understanding of the environmental importance of San Francisco Bay. There is strong emphasis on the interdependence of marine life and shore life and on the urgency of preserving the marine and estuarine environment. Hence, it is no surprise that Crab Cove was designated as the first California estuarine marine reserve.

    • Crab Cove is the site formerly known as Neptune Beach, where both the American snow cone and the popsicle were first sold in 1923. The name comes from Frank "Pop" Epperson who sold his Epperson Ice Pop known as "Pop's Sickle." Neptune Beach's two huge outdoor pools hosted swimming races and exhibitions by such famous swimmers as Olympian Johnny Weismuller, who later starred as the original Tarzan, and Jack LaLanne, who started a chain of health clubs. Crab Cove is also located near Neptune Court which depicts resort life in Alameda in the 1920's to this day. It is the only part of Neptune Beach that remains.

    Given this history, the proposed location of the Alameda Medical Respite and Wellness Center could be more suitably used as an extension of Crab Cove such as a marine laboratory for students (taking advantage of the in-place, state-of-the-art ventilation system) and history museum for Neptune Beach. If this educational opportunity is squandered now, it is lost forever.

feedback

Express Your Support or Concerns

"Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent."
— Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Provide Feedback to APC

    Crown Harbor community members are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback.

    For your convenience, you can contact them all at once using apc@crownharbor.org.

  • Provide Feedback to Federal Government Agencies

    Crown Harbor community members are encouraged provide feedback.

    • Email GSA Program Manager of the Federal Real Property Assistance Program, Theresa Ritta.
    • Email HHS Public Affairs Contacts, media@hhs.gov.

    At this point, in a settlement agreement between the State, EBRP, and the Federal government, the State and EBRP agreed that they will not interfere with the use or transfer of this property, and that GSA can develop transfer or convey the property as they see fit, which GSA has done.

  • Contact the City

    Crown Harbor community members are encouraged to express their support or objection to Eric Fonstein at the city of Alameda Social Services Human Relations Board:

    Crown Harbor community members can email the City Council to express their support or objection to the project:

    For your convenience, you can contact them all at once using citycouncil@crownharbor.org. The project is endorsed by the City as part of its plan for the homeless. Celena Chen from the Alameda City Attorney's office has authored a Frequently Asked Questions page on the city of Alameda government website.

    Councilmember Frank Matarrese supported the acquisition of the initial parcel based on the passage of Measure WW:

    Frank Matarrese Support

  • Contact the County

    Crown Harbor community members can email the Alameda County Board of Supervisors:

  • Contact the State

    Crown Harbor community members can email State officials to express their support or objection to the project:

    The state has ownership of McKay Avenue.

  • Contact the East Bay Regional Park District

    Crown Harbor community members can email EBRPD to inquire about the district's support or objection to the project:

    For your convenience, you can contact them all at once using ebrpd@crownharbor.org.

    As part of the settlement between the City, State, and EBRPD, EBRPD agreed not to interfere in the disposition of the remaining Federal property in exchange for receiving the 3.89 acre parcel for Crab Cove expansion (instead of Tim Lewis Communities). So even if EBRPD could make use of the additional property, the community must speak up on EBRPD's behalf.

    Despite pleas from Friends of Crab Cove presented at the meeting, General Manager Robert Doyle stated at the last board EBRPD meeting that Measure WW always intended to acquire just the 3.89 acres and not the whole parcel, yet none of the 2006 or 2007 EBRPD Board meeting minutes make a mention of this. The speculation is that EBRPD's position is now based on the agreement they signed to acquire the 3.89 acres but was not their position when Measure WW was placed on the ballot in 2008; however, on June 6, 2018, EBRPD sent a letter to the Alameda City Council indicating that the site is not suitable for park expansion.

  • Contact the Alameda Unified School District

    Crown Harbor community members can email the school board to express their support or objection to the project:

    For your convenience, you can contact them all at once using ausdboard@crownharbor.org. As an alternative, you can call (510) 337-7187.

    On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, the board passed a resolution endorsing the project, recognizing the value of the Resource Center that will serve Alameda families and individuals at-risk of or newly homeless. Despite that the school district could use the site for educational purposes, the board's support of the project is in-line with the AUSD principle that "Everyone Belongs Here."

  • Contact the Alameda Hospital Board

    Crown Harbor community members can email the board to express their support or objection to the project:

  • Support Friends of Crab Cove

    Crown Harbor community members can consider signing the petition to put the matter on the ballot and/or volunteering to help with this effort.

    The group has to collect the required number of signatures (6,000 — 30 books of 200 each) to put the measure on the November 2018 ballot.

documents

Related Documents

Links to these documents appear in the text above, but here they are in a list:

Federal

State

City

EBRPD

APC

Friends of Crab Cove

questions

Questions from the Community

The questions for APC from Crown Harbor were answered by Doug Biggs in an email dated 04/11/2018:

Site / Facility Related

  • Q: Does the project approval process REQUIRE comparative studies of such a Center being established in a comparable community and geographic location (here, across from a public regional park, and a protected nature area (Crab Cove and Crown Beach, Coastal Trail)? Would this include consideration of the population which the beach and nature center serves? i.e., individuals, families, children, and their activities (recreation, hiking, biking, docent led nature exploration of the Cove)?
    A: The environmental assessment manual directs what the environmental assessment will consider.

  • Q: How does such a center enhance the well-being of the community? The proposal states this center would serve the entire Alameda county. How many persons are expected to congregate on/around McKay Ave, who sadly have no other place to go, and need to access the facilities? If there will be methadone treatment in the facility, this should be directly stated, and studied, as to effect on the neighborhood.
    A: The center will activate an area that is vacant, dark at night, and brings additional "eyes" on to the street, particularly after dark. We hope to be able to create community spaces (meeting rooms etc.) at the center that can also be used by other groups, however part of that decision will be left to the stakeholder process depending on how comfortable various stakeholder will be with sharing space. We don't expect any congregation on or around McKay. Clients and residents will stay on site for the most part, and if they need to leave will likely need van transportation. Based on what I have seen of other facilities we will not be providing methadone treatment on-site. Should that change we would involve the stakeholders in the discussion.

  • Q: Will the facility be keeping the gates that are used at its entrance?
    A: Yes.

  • Q: Who is conducting the Environmental Impact Report?
    A: The first step is to complete an Environmental Assessment. Only if the Assessment indicates the necessity, and HHS agrees will an EIR be prepared. Based on the intensity of the activities previously at the site, we expect to get a Finding of No Significant Impact. It is important to understand that homelessness in and of itself is not an environmental impact. Impacts come from traffic, noise, pollution etc. and from that perspective the previous uses generated much more traffic, noise, and potential for contamination that the proposed use.

  • Q: What is the City's involvement in the project?
    A: They have allocated some funds to assist with the planning and have included support for the project in the homeless plan that the City Council just adopted.

  • Q: Is APC associated with the state of California?
    A: APC is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

  • Q: With the quitclaim deed, will APC own McKay Avenue?
    A: No, McKay Ave is owned by the State, APC will have a right of access on the street.

  • Q: Given that the facility's utilities need to be separated, does this include the drainage system that currently flows into Crown Harbor?
    A: It appears that there is a stormwater drainage running from our parcel to the EBRP parcel then into Crown Harbor or from the EBRP parcel to our parcel and then Crown Harbor. I am meeting with EBRP to go over all the easements next week and will have a better understanding. If it is a stormwater easement though, it likely will not need to be changed nor would it be good to change as changing it might increase flooding.

Service Related

  • Q: The plan for the McKay Avenue property is to accommodate the "needs of homeless persons with complex health challenges that are high users of the health care system." Drug abuse and addiction is often a major health issue for "homeless persons with health challenges that are high users of the health care system." Is one purpose of the proposed Clinic, Resource Center, and Housing to address the issues of people with drug addiction problems? Will it be a Drug Treatment Center? If so, is locating the facility in such close proximity to Crown Beach and Crab Cove a reasonable choice of locations?
    A: We will address drug addiction through harm reduction but will not be a drug treatment center.

  • Q: Are there 24/7 staffing levels?
    A: Yes

  • Q: Will there be a doctor or nurse on duty 24/7?
    A: There won't be a doctor on duty 24/7, but there will be adequate and appropriate medical and clinical staff on duty at all time. We are still looking at appropriate staffing mixes.

  • Q: How is a patient referred to the facility?
    A: They will be referred by hospitals or other medical providers (such as the community paramedic program), and there will be a screening to assess suitability for services.

  • Q: Where does the 7-10 clients per day come from?
    A: That is the anticipated number of at-risk Alamedans who may use the small resource center to apply for rental subsidies and other assistance. We anticipate this will be a one (or few) visit and done process.

  • Q: How are patients transported to the facility?
    A: Depending on medical acuity: by van, taxi, or ambulance. We will be working with the medical response teams to establish a no siren zone for McKay Ave.

  • Q: Is the McKay facility the only one for Alameda County or are there similar facilities?
    A: There are currently no other similar facilities in Alameda County.

  • Q: Crown Harbor has maintained the adjacent 15-feet of Federal property on the Crown Harbor side of the fence for more than 30 years, well in excess to the 5-year requirement to claim ownership. What is the plan for the fence that separates Crown Harbor from the facility? Will it be moved or removed? Will APC maintain it?
    A: My understanding is the fence was recently moved when the survey was done as part of the sale of the other federal property to EBRP. Our plan is to keep the fence in place and maintain it but would want to learn more about how Crown Harbor views the fence and land along that side.

  • Q: What is the process for moving from hospital bed to assisted living? How long do people stay in assisted living? What happens when the 90 units are all occupied?
    A: Similar to the medical respite, they will complete an assessment and be brought either by van, taxi, or ambulance. The assisted living is permanent housing, and most will live out their lives there. We anticipate a frequent turnover due to the high mortality rates of homeless seniors.

  • Q: Will there be any dispensing of methadone?
    A: Doug Biggs doesn't know enough about the best practices around this to say definitively yet, but just based on the what APC has seen at a few other sites, no, there most likely will not be any dispensing of methadone.

To submit a question, email center@crownharbor.org.

press

Press / Social Media Coverage

Pro

Neutral

Con

observations

Observations and Experience

Crown Harbor has the benefit of, Sandra Davis, a resident with observations and experience of working in an artists' building located at Sherman and Folsom Streets in San Francisco, for a period of over 20 years (and still does).

Here are that resident's remarks:

  • The existence of a population of homeless persons moving through the neighborhood on a daily basis, and the location of a methadone treatment center 3 blocks away, has increased crime (including car break-ins, and other, more violent personal attacks). Prostitution takes place in open air areas by the park and in cars that have been broken into for this purpose.

  • Persons working in buildings around Sherman, have been spat on, hit, and generally harassed in a menacing way, by persons who are hungry, on drugs, or angry. We have had persons deliberately urinate and defecate in the street ahead of us (this is disgusting, but must be said). During a 2 year period recently, we were forced to mount a campaign that included taking photos and videos of the activity on a daily basis, and sending these to the police station (3 blocks away) and a district supervisor. Although we had the direct line to the police station desk, and still, it has been difficult to get a police response, as they had many other emergencies to deal with. The staffing levels of Alameda police put them in a similar situation to the San Francisco police. They are not prepared to handle an increase in crime.

  • Across street on one side of our building is an elementary school, and across from them, a public park. The school has had to hire private security during periods when children arrive/leave the school, and recess. The park has a play area, which was fenced off, but we regularly observed and photographed dealers and homeless population reaching through this fence and talking at the children and adult supervisors.

  • Streets surrounding our building, school, and park, are covered every morning with urine, feces, needles, and bloody, dirty cloths. We have to hose these down to get rid of them, although the proper procedure is to call the city's Hazardous Materials Division to have them do it. This is impractical, as they cannot respond immediately; however, we leave the needles for them to collect.

  • What we have observed is that homeless persons are often the victims of crime, but that means that criminal and, dealers who are harassing and attacking them are simultaneously establishing a presence in the neighborhood.

  • Streets are covered every morning with broken glass from car windows. Persons break in to rob, but also to sleep. Merchants have been driven out by the activity and the high cost of barring windows, necessary security measures, and losing customers.

Though we all started out wanting to help, e.g., bringing the homeless food and supplies, eventually the problems were too numerous and serious. We were as powerless as the San Francisco police who were inundated with calls that they could not respond to. The concern is that McKay and Central will suffer the same maladies as Sherman and Folsom.

Though proponents of APC's plan insist that Crown Harbor residents have no cause for concern, homeless are already sleeping at the site.

federal property on mckay


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