ONN – Oakland Planning Commission Takes Up 19 Story Building At CA College Of Arts August 21
Oakland – “Rockridge Community Online”, an Oakland-based neighborhood group, wants Oaklanders to come to the Oakland Planning Commission Meeting at Oakland City Hall this Tuesday, August 21st. The rest of this post presents what was written in the organization’s email newsletter:
You probably know that a San Francisco builder is planning a 19 story tower at the California College of Arts (CCA) site.
Did you know:
There will be 4 eight story buildings for over 500 new units worsening already bad traffic on that section of Broadway.
The area facing Broadway transforms from a frontage of green trees to an edifice of steel and glass.
There are only 35 below market apartments in the development and they are segregated off to the side from the new construction.
The developer wants the city to rezone from a 35-foot height limit to a combination of 90-foot and 160-foot.
Did you also know:
A 200 foot Tower surrounded by a canyon of buildings will most likely happen unless citizens fight for better.
Developers are influencing politicians through donations and lobbying both in Oakland and the State Capital to reduce local control.
There is a strong political movement supporting growth without limits that is currently louder than the citizens who already live in the neighborhoods.The San Francisco based developer for the CCA site recently commented in the San Francisco Business Times that “I’m maybe surprised there’s not more opposition.”
The approval process is skewed to those who know the system. Local residents are at a major disadvantage.
All projects in Oakland are approved on a project by project basis with no central plan and no affordable housing requirements.
A deep pocketed developer can appeal to the city council.The only binding vote in the entire process belongs to 7 of 8 council who are outside the neighborhood.
Oakland should and can ask for more.
We need more housing in the Bay Area but need to be smart about development. Upper Broadway Advocates supports new buildings that add, or at the very least, do not destroy the beauty, clog unmodified roads with traffic, fill the streets with parked cars, and change fundamentally the character of the neighborhood. There should also be a substantial number of affordable units for low and moderate income people. We want the people who work in Rockridge – teachers, baristas, salespersons, firefighters – to have a chance to live here too.
By getting involved, we can:
Shorten the height of the buildings to be appropriate to the neighborhood. An original design by a different architect, before CCA decided to maximize revenue, called for a complex of 4 story buildings.
Increase the number of affordable units. San Francisco and other areas require more from developers. Oakland is outpacing San Francisco in the building of new, high end apartments. Oakland can ask for more from the developer and CCA which is abandoning Oakland.
Have architecture and an aesthetic appropriate for Oakland, not Houston, Texas.
Preserve the green space. Cut down fewer trees. Improve the public space.
Find ways to mitigate the increase in cars and traffic.
How you can help improve the future development:
#1 MOST IMPORTANT: BE HEARD starting with the Oakland Planning Commission meeting at Oakland City Hall on Wednesday, August 21 at 6pm. The developer, politicians, and absconding CCA trustees will be looking for signs of what they can get away with at the CCA site.
It’s critical that we have people turn up and participate in the process.
RSVP to [email protected] and we will provide a place to assemble before the meeting.
Volunteer. There are numerous opportunities to help Oakland manage growth. Go to UBAoakland.org for more information or send us an email [email protected]
Write the Planning Commission.
To each Planning Commissioner, by e-mail or hard copy THE SOONER THE BETTER.Letters must be received by August 20.Reference ER19003 on your correspondence. Planning Commission, City Hall, 250 Frank H. Ogawa, Oakland CA 94612. E-mail addresses are below.Be as specific as you can about your concern.
For the environmental scope review, send a letter by email or hard copy to Rebecca Lind, [email protected] (City Hall, Planning, 250 Frank H. Ogawa, Suite 3315, Oakland CA 94612.Reference ER 19003 on your letter.THE SOONER THE BETTER. Comments on the scope of the environmental review report must be received no later than 4PM on August 23, 2019.
Commission members and contact information can be found on the UBAOakland.org website by clicking here.
Visit the Oakland City Council this Tuesday, August 21st
As to where I stand on this, I do think we have to build affordable housing, rather than use the shortage of affordable housing as an excuse to build more market-rate housing. The homeless problem has just worsened – 35 new affordable units aren’t enough. The project should have at least 100 units.
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