Judge delivers another defeat for opponents of Alameda homeless senior facility

Artist rendering of the Alameda Wellness Center on McKay Avenue.

An Alameda County judge ruled last week against a compliant made by opponents of a wellness center for homeless seniors that Alameda officials failed to properly study the project’s impact on the environment.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled against the group calling itself the Friends of Crab Cove on Aug. 16. The lawsuit was filed by the group last December in response to the Alameda City Council approving zoning for the facility on McKay Avenue.

The property was last used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will be converted into living units for homeless seniors, in addition, to a facility that offers help for other homeless individuals in Alameda.

“In the midst of a statewide housing and homelessness crisis, the Court’s decision affirms that the City of Alameda could and in fact did take reasonable and lawful steps toward addressing both concerns,” Alameda City Attorney Yibin Shen said. “We agree with the Court that the Council’s rezoning decision is both lawful and fully consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act.”

Running parallel to the lawsuit, Friends of Crab Cove successfully placed a ballot measure before voters that served as a referendum on the future of the project and the issue of growing homelessness in the city and Bay Area.

The special election held last April cost upwards of $500,000 to administer and served as a resounding defeat for the Friends of Crab Cove supporters. Measure B, which called for rescinding the council’s zoning of the McKay Avenue properties, lost 56-44 percent.

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