I went to my first Alameda Planning Board meeting this week. On the docket were discussions of the planned Target store, the new College of Alameda Flea Market, and a response to the Regional Sustainable Communities Strategy.
Now going in, I had no idea what exactly the Planning Board does. It turns out, they do a bit of everything.
I took some notes, complete with sketches and doodles. I thought it was interesting how iterative the Target approval process seems to be. And a spontaneous round of applause for the approval of a permit for the Alameda College Flea Market was delightful.
But what really hit me in the meeting (during the discussion of Regional Sustainable Communities) was a deeper understanding of just how many different mandates (formal or not) the Planning Board (and the city in general) operates under. From federal, state, regional levels, from different constituent groups and business interests and stakeholders. It's a complicated arena, even in our relatively small town. I'm ready to learn more.