Against Alma Bowl Proposal
by Vociferous Dissent and Otto Patience
September 10, 2003
Dozens of neighbors opposing the Alma Bowl project attended the Public Hearing before the Planning Commission on September 10. They spoke to the Commissioners about the project's inappropriate height, its incompatibility with the neighborhood, its flawed community outreach, traffic concerns, safety concerns, and so on. The Tamien Vision Committee was there in force, emphasizing the community's concerns about the insular enclave design of the proposal, the threat of the loss of mixed use at Tamien Station, inadequate traffic study methodologies and the arrogant way that outreach had been conducted.
The hearing went from 6 pm to 12:30 am. The Commissioners voted to recommend approval, but added an amendment strongly encouraging City Council to approve the simultaneous funding of neighborhood parks and other amenities, and made a commitment to protecting mixed use at Tamien Station, implemented in a way that would serve both transit riders and the neighborhood residents. They also strongly encouraged the developer to seek ways to reduce the insular, elitist nature of the project, but it was clear the developer would not pursue this at all unless forced to by some outside agency (such as the City Council).
The many neighbors who attended are to be commended for such an extraordinary effort, and especially the members of the Tamien Vision Committee, who put in long hours in the weeks leading up to this meeting. These people have done the citizens of the Tamien, Goodyear-Mastic and Guadalupe-Washington neighborhoods a great service, by putting this community's crying need for parks uppermost in the minds of city planners and the City Council. These people have also done the City and community a great service by demanding that Tamien Station is built as a transit village (with mixed use commercial and retail), so that it can become a true transit destination and not just a mess of bedrooms.
These issues were not on the table before neighbors spoke up and neighborhoods united and made them unignorable.
Next: the big showdown, before the City Council. This meeting is scheduled for September 30, but may change. Mark your calendars!
The Tamien Vision Committee. Clockwise from lower left: