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ZONING UPDATE

News in reverse chronological order

September 5, 2011: Phase II Citywide

Now that the citywide general zoning update has been completed, the city will proceed with phase II. This involves updating some of the city's more detailed and specific zoning provisions – notably the city's parking regulations (see notice, page 9, about city parking workshops) and sign ordinance — and developing area-specific overlays to the general zoning. RCPC has not heard a specific timetable for this second phase, nor whether the planning department will convene one or more technical advisory groups to assist in the process. To serve on an advisory group, either parking or signage, e-mail chair@rockridge.org, or leave a message on the RCPC voice mail number: 510/869-4200.

March 5, 2011: Council to Act on Zoning Recommendations, March 15, after 6pm

The City Council’s Community and Economic Development Committee held a hearing February 22 on the proposed citywide revisions to Oakland’s zoning. Several committee members proposed “tweaks” to the Planning Commission-approved plans. In particular, Councilmember Jane Brunner, responding to community concerns, proposed lowering heights along upper Telegraph Avenue (north of SR 24) and the 5200 block of Broadway from 60 feet back to 45 feet. She also asked that the eastern portions of Birch Court and neighboring areas on Chabot Road, which had been proposed for upzoning, be dropped back down to RM-1 zoning. The rezoning, including all the proposed changes, was approved by the committee and forwarded on to the full Council for adoption. The first reading was held March 1, the second reading and final adoption will be on March 15. Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. The rezoning item will likely not be heard earlier then 6:30 p.m., but check the city’s website (http://tinyurl.com/4ojgb9y) for updated time information. To speak at the hearing, you may fill out a speaker card in advance on-line at http://tinyurl.com/4gxt8rw, or at the meeting.

October 2, 2010: City Announces Public Meeting: Zoning Update Committee (ZUC) October. 13, 4pm

The public is invited to discuss the City’s proposed changes to the zoning text and maps in Oakland’s commercial and residential areas at a meeting set for October 13 by city planning staff.On the agenda are changes to the text and zoning maps made since the previous four public meetings, and to address any outstanding issues, before the Planning Commission begins its public hearings on the Citywide Zoning Update in November.

Visit the zoning update webpage www.oaklandnet.com/zoningupdate to
read the staff report (posting on October 6, 2010), including highlights of the proposal, click on “Schedule and Upcoming Meetings .” To view the proposed zoning maps and text, click on “Proposals

November 10, 2009: Citywide Zoning Update Meeting on proposed changes, November 12th

Topic: Citywide Zoning Update
Date & Time: Thursday, November 12th, 6 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center , 3301 East 12 St. Please check the city website at http://oaklandnet.com/zoningupdate for further information, and view the flyer.

October 15, 2009: Important Citywide Zoning Update Meeting, November 7th

Dear Neighbors –

The City is re-doing the Zoning code for the entire City of Oakland .  The Zoning Code determines how tall your neighbor can build their house and whether or not they can build multiple units. Zoning also determines the types of businesses that are allowed in your neighborhood commercial district. 

The Planning Department is holding a meeting in North Oakland on November 7th to present draft zoning concepts.  Please come to give your input on the draft zoning proposal:

            Topic:                  Citywide Zoning Update
            Date & Time:        Saturday, November 7th, 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
            Location:              Peralta Elementary School , 460 63rd Street

Staff will present concepts for residential and commercial zoning, including permitted land uses and development standards. The goal of this meeting is to collect feedback about zoning concepts and mapping.

I encourage all interested North Oaklanders to stay informed about the zoning update process by participating in this meeting being held by the Planning Department. For more information, please see the attached invitation from the Planning Department.
 
Yours Truly,
Jane Brunner

October 4, 2009: Citywide Zoning Update continues

Work on a new zoning ordinance continues to move forward. City staff has completed designing a new, simpler set of citywide zoning categories. College Avenue and Broadway (along with other similar areas like Piedmont Avenue and Montclair Village) will be in a new zoning category: CN-1, but the regula-tions for the new zone will be very close to, but perhaps slightly more stringent than, the existing C-31 zoning rules. Residential zoning for Rockridge will also be largely unchanged, since the general plan designates the area as a “maintain and enhance” area.

The next commercial corridor technical advisory group meeting is now set for Monday, October 5, from 6–8 p.m. in hearing room 2 at City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza. At that hearing, staff will preview the proposed citywide zoning map and discuss ideas for defining height limits in the new zoning ordinance. Please check here or the city Web site at http://oaklandnet.com/zoningupdate for details.

July 4, 2009: Citywide Zoning Update: Framework revealed

The City’s very belated zoning update process is moving forward. The City is cur-rently preparing detailed regulations for the CN-1 zone, a zoning category intended to replace both the C-31 zone that now applies to College Avenue and the C-27 zone that applies to Montclair Village. As of now, the new zone would incorporate all of the important provisions of C-31 and would continue to protect and promote ground floor retail on College.

The next meeting of the technical advisory groups is in August. Please check here or the city Web site at http://oaklandnet.com/zoningupdate for details.

June 5, 2009: Citywide Zoning Update: Framework revealed

The Commercial Corridor Technical Advisory Group, which includes RCPC, held its second discussion meeting on May 14. Staff has come up with an overall framework for revised zoning for the commercial corridors, which include College Avenue, Broadway and Telegraph Avenue. The framework envisions no change in the zoning for College Avenue or the Rockridge section of Broadway. Proposed zoning for Telegraph Avenue is still in flux.

Staff is suggesting a relatively small number of commercial zoning categories that would apply citywide, to be followed up with more locally focused overlay districts specific to the various commercial areas. There would also be an independent set of height limits that would act as an overlay on the commercial zoning. Staff is proposing that parking regulations be revised in a future phase of the rezoning, as there is insufficient staffing and funding to do so now.

The staff reports and proposals can be viewed on the City’s website here.

February 9, 2009: Zoning Workshops: Strategic Planning Division, City of Oakland – CEDA

Save the date for the two upcoming community-wide zoning update workshops. The same workshop will be held in two locations at two different dates:

FEBRUARY 26, 2009
Thursday, 5:45 to 7:45 pm
West Oakland Public Library 1801 Adeline St.

OR FEBRUARY 28, 2009
Saturday,10:00 am to 12 noon
Bella Vista Elementary 1025 E. 28th Street

Zoning update staff will be spreading the word about these workshops in the coming weeks. www.oaklandnet.com/zoningupdate

January 5, 2009: Citywide Zoning Update: First Steps

Land use is an important issue in Rockridge, and the zoning ordinance is usually the primary law controlling land use. In Oakland, however, for the past 10 years that hasn’t been the case. Instead, both neighborhoods and developers have had to deal with unpredictable land use decisions made by City staff and the Planning Commission on a project-by-project basis. That, however, may soon change.

The problem began in 1998 when Oakland adopted a new general plan. If zoning is a city’s land use law, the general plan is its constitution. Normally, with a new general plan would have come a revised zoning ordinance. Unfortunately, that didn’t fit with then-mayor Jerry Brown’s priorities. Instead, he put the zoning update on the back burner, and had the City Council pass an “interim” ordinance allowing the staff and Planning Commission to consider projects based on whatever zoning they felt best fit the general plan’s broad outlines.

Now, Mayor Dellums and the City Council are finally moving forward with the long-overdue zoning revision, with Assistant Planning Director Eric Angstadt and planner Neil Grey in charge.

As a first step, Angstadt has set up two technical advisory groups (TAGs), one for residential and one for commercial areas.*

These panels, made up of representatives from different constituencies within Oakland, have been charged with identifying issues that need to be addressed in the update. Thanks to our local City Council member, Jane Brunner, RCPC has representation on both panels. RCPC Chair Stuart Flashman sits on the commercial TAG, while land use committee member and former Planning Commissioner Glen Jarvis is on the residential TAG.

Each group has now had one meeting. The residential group’s first meeting was largely devoted to a staff review of the current zoning and issues that staff had identified as needing review. The commercial group’s first meeting included a similar review, but also left considerable time for TAG members to point up what members felt were important issues.

  1. Issues brought forward by TAG members included the following (in no particular order):
  2. the importance of thinking about parking requirements and how they affect development
  3. using incentives to promote community benefits
  4. setting height and density limits so they take into account the increased height and density that bonuses might allow
  5. providing buffering for high-impact uses
  6. recognizing infrastructure (roadways, transit, water, sewer, etc.) limits in setting development density
  7. encouraging adaptive reuse of existing buildings
  8. using transfer of development rights to protect historic properties
  9. allowing “flex” in the zoning for later changes.

The next meeting of the TAGs will probably be some time in the early spring, although no specific date has been set.

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*City staff has prepared two papers; one for residential and one for commercial issues.