Oakland District Four Councilmember Sheng Thao

Oakland Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Key Step In Utilities Undergrounding Phase

COUNCILMEMBER SHENG THAO AND PIEDMONT PINES NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION CELEBRATE KEY STEP IN PIEDMONT PINES UTILITIES UNDERGROUNDING PHASE II

Oakland – Oakland District 4 City Councilmember Sheng Thao and the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association are thrilled to announce that the assessment district for the second phase of the Piedmont Pines Utilities Undergrounding passed with a resounding 93% of ballots cast, guaranteeing this important wildfire prevention project moves forward as California faces unprecedented drought and fire risk.

“One of the biggest contributors to dangerous wildfires has been exposed and poorly maintained utility equipment. This is why I immediately got to work moving this project forward after being elected,” explains Councilmember Sheng Thao, “The community originally asked for this undergrounding in 1987 and my office worked with the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association, California Public Utilities Commission, City, and PG&E to push it over the finish line. We are now on the cusp of doing the work necessary to protect a large swath of the Oakland hills from wildfires. I want to thank everyone who has been involved, especially our leaders in the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association.”

According to Piedmont  Pines’ Executive Director Robbie Neely, who has worked on this project since 1999, this newly created assessment district for the second phase marks a huge milestone. “We formed an outreach team of 18 neighbors within the Phase 2 boundary.  They knocked on doors, distributed fliers, put up signs, sent emails, made phone calls–all to be sure that residents could make a fully informed decision about the project and the investment they were being asked to make,” Neely said.  “They did a phenomenal job, as is evidenced by the return of 93% yes votes from the 142 ballots cast among 225 property owners in the district. In addition to Sheng, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dick Spees, who was our councilmember at the time of our application and has continued advising us since his retirement.”

Construction of Phase 2 of the Piedmont Pines Utilities Undergrounding is currently slated to begin  in 2022 and will take about three years. Phase 3 will move forward as Phase 2 winds down.. You can find all the details of the project on the Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association Website. 

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