Albany Forward on the issues
Robin López, John Miki and Nick Pilch are teaming up to continue the fight against climate change, bring safety to our streets and make them more inviting for all, and work to make sure everyone has a place to live in Albany. With your help, we will make our transportation system more equitable, undertake the reforms needed to ensure economic and racial justice, and provide the community services and support Albany needs.
Housing along Our Important Commercial Corridors
San Pablo Specific Plan
The City Council recently approved a vision for the future of San Pablo Avenue. This plan provides a new framework within which new development projects can be built to meet Albany's housing growth needs and continue to provide space to meet the services and retail needs of the community. Read more about the San Pablo Specific Plan here.
Our Commitment: The Albany Forward candidates look forward to continue implementing and refining this framework for a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive commercial corridor.
Solano Avenue over the past decade has seen numerous projects get proposed or built. New project along the corridor have provided new commercial, office and residential space.
One recent project 1600 Solano Ave was proposed under the existing zoning and used new state laws to provide much needed housing in the community. This project was unanimously approved by the current council, based on the following facts:
- Project met all applicable city and state laws with regards to development.
- Project is providing needed housing, both market rate and affordable units.
- City Attorney's analysis that should City Council not approve the development plan, the City would lose in court and cost the City between $400,000-500,000 and the project would be built as submitted.
Staff report summarizes on pages 5 and 6 applicable state and local laws that applied.
Housing in our Residential Neighborhoods
Albany is composed of a rich mix of housing types across and within neighborhoods.
Our Commitment: Albany Forward candidates are committed to finding ways to maintain the built character of our house-scale neighborhoods while at the same time providing new homes for existing and future Albany residents.
Accessory Dwelling Units
While many lots in Albany have single-family houses on them, many of those lots not include accessory dwelling units.
Accessory dwelling units, also referred to as ADUs, are typically small houses that are built on a lot with an existing single-family house. These units are often times tucked away in the backyard of homes.
Our Commitment: As City Council member, Albany Forward Candidates will look to find ways to encourage more of these small houses to help address the changing needs of families and help meet the needs of those facing housing insecurity.
Duplexes, Townhouses, Small Apartment Buildings and Courtyard Buildings
Sprinkled through out the city are one to two-story buildings built before the 1960s such as duplexes (two small units with a shared wall), townhouses, small apartment buildings and courtyard buildings. These types of housing are found in most communities that experienced growth before the 1950s. These small house-scale buildings fit right into the community and at first sight appear to just be another house. Read more about these types here.
Looking to these historic types built before the 1960s, we can learn lessons on how additional homes can be built in our community while maintaining the house-scale feel of our neighborhoods. This is particularly important with regards to new state laws that have passed that allow additional units to be built on single-family zoned land.
Our Commitment: As City Council member, Albany Forward Candidates will look to craft regulations that allow new homes to be created in Albany while maintain the single-family character of many of our neighborhoods and abiding by state law.
Albany is a community with a gridded network of streets that stitch together our neighborhoods, commercial corridor, schools and parks. Over the past decade and a half the community has been working to increase safety and expand the mobility options available for everyone in the community. These efforts have included improvements such as:
- Redesigning intersections to make them safer for motorists.
- Traffic calming measures along street to slow traffic in residential neighborhoods
- Improvements to the Ohlone greenway for pedestrians, joggers, people pushing strollers, skaters and bicyclists.
- Buchanon Street separated bike lanes and sidewalk connects the waterfront with San Pablo Avenue
Additional Measures Albany Forward will focus on
- Strengthen commitment to traffic calming measures in our residential neighborhoods
- Increase our street tree canopy and tree pruning
- Increase lighting on our streets, in particular at the intersections to our major connector streets.
Our Commitment: Albany Forward Candidates are committed to provide Albany more choices in mobility, in particular focusing on need electric vehicle charging stations along our corridors and increasing residency and safety of our transportation networks.
Fiscal Health of the City
Parks and Open Space