Tuesday night’s Council meeting was full of important discussions and decisions. The Council finally voted on the zoning update and the Energy and Climate Action Plan. They also had a somewhat maddening but also very productive discussion on parking. I’ll have a post up sometime in the next week with video, but for now, here are the #oakmtg tweets, courtesy of Ruth Miller and I. And if you’re not already following Ruth @mcplanner on Twitter, follow her already! She’s been doing a fantastic job tweeting Council, committee, and Planning Commission hearings. I hope she keeps it up! Continue reading
If you’ve been to the Living in the O site since Sunday, you’ve probably noticed that I finally updated the look and navigation of the site. I picked this theme because of how it features photos and how it fits so much but doesn’t feel cluttered. I hope you like it.
If you haven’t been to the site (and I know from stats that most of you read via RSS feeds), take a minute and check it out, as I also updated my blogroll, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I added a bunch of Oakland, California, and transportation blogs I read regularly. If you’re looking for new blogs to read, check some of them out. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of Council committee meetings and explained what each of the committees do. I also mentioned that some committees are very powerful and their new membership could change the balance of power on important policy decisions. Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 22nd will be a good chance to see this in action at the Community and Economic Development (CED) committee meeting, as the committee discusses three important and exciting issues – one very controversial and two less so. Continue reading
This guest post was written by Joyce Roy, with an introduction from me. As a retired architect, Joyce has raised her sights (or sites?) to the whole city of Oakland and so has been active in advocating for better transit, the right development in the right place and the reuse of existing structures. She is an active member of ULTRA.
For the past couple of years, Oakland has been working on a long overdue zoning update. As John Gatewood explained in 2009:
As some of you know the city has finally started the Zoning Update for the commercial and residential areas of Oakland. This process should have started in 1998 when the city adopted its latest General Plan but, for a number of reasons, it did not. This lack of agreement between the General Plan and the Zoning is what has led to so many conflicts over new developments in Oakland. Our existing zoning is patchwork created over decades to respond to immediate concerns rather than long-term goals. The 1998 General Plan spells out where the city wants to focus growth in Oakland. To their credit the writers of the 1998 General Plan focused this “growth and change” on the major transit corridors in Oakland.
The Zoning Update is our opportunity to bring zoning, the details of what can be built where, in alignment with the vision of the General Plan. Updating the zoning to allow for the higher density envisioned in the General Plan will be one step in turning Oakland away from the path Detroit is on. Our city is at the heart of the East Bay. We already have the public transit infrastructure to support more residents using it. We were once a denser, more walkable city. We now need to update our land-use rules so that we can build higher density housing on our transit corridors to respond to how we live today so that we can rekindle the walkability and vibrancy we had 60 years ago.
After many hearings before the Planning Commission’s Zoning Update Committee (ZUC), the zoning update is coming before the Community and Economic Development Committee this week and the full City Council next week.
Here is Joyce Roy’s post about why you should attend and/or send emails about the zoning update:
Urgent need to support higher density along Telegraph and Broadway:
Most concerns have been resolved at the Planning Commission’s Zoning Update Committee meetings. But two points of contention may be the 60-ft heights along Telegraph other than the historic districts, which are 35-ft to 45-ft, and only 45-ft rather than 60-ft on Broadway between Whitmore and 40th.
From the staff report (warning – LARGE PDF):
Staff’s recommendation for Telegraph Avenue is consistent with citywide height mapping principals that applied a 60-foot height maximum on wide corridors that are adjacent to lower-density residential neighborhoods. This height limit creates an appropriate “wall” to contain the wide street space on Telegraph Avenue. The updated proposal also allows the density that fulfills General Plan policies encouraging development at major corridors to promote infill development, increase transit use, and revitalize retail districts. Regulations proposing a building stepback from the rear setback line of corridor sites will significantly lower the impacts of taller corridor buildings on adjacent residential neighborhoods.
Staff agrees that the same reasoning applies to Broadway, but staff needs to be able to show it has the support of the community. The City Council has the final say. So we must fight for a 60-ft height limit on Broadway and to maintain it on Telegraph by sending emails to councilmembers. It is very important that the councilmembers receive many emails. So even if you are planning to go to the meetings, send emails.
Please come to the meetings:
- Community & Economic Development Committee mtg: Tues. Feb. 8 at 1:45 pm in Hearing Room 1
- Full Council: Tues. Feb. 15 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers
Here are email addresses for the Council (the first four are on the committee, but I would advise sending to all):
- Jane Brunner <email@example.com>
- Patricia Kernighan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Nancy Nadel <email@example.com>
- Ignacio De La Fuente <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Jean Quan <email@example.com>
- Desley Brooks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Larry Reid <email@example.com>
- Rebecca Kaplan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Libby Schaaf <email@example.com>
For more background on the process, please read an article on the zoning update in the Sierra Club’s Yodeler.
Tuesday, June 22nd – TRANSFORUM: Problems & Solutions for Public Transportation in the Bay Area
TransForm’s next TransForum will look at the harsh realities transit agencies currently face across the Bay Area and discuss potential solutions. Speakers include Carolyn Clevenger (the project manager for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Transit Sustainability Project), Lewis Clinton (AC Transit’s CFO), Stuart Cohen (TransForm’s executive director), and Carli Paine (TransForm’s transportation program director). Joel Young, a member of AC Transit’s Board of Directors, will moderate a lively discussion and Q&A session. The TransForum will run from 6:00-7:30pm (with time for networking after) at AC Transit’s headquarters, 1600 Franklin Street. Drinks and snacks will be served. TransForums are free for TransForm members and $5 for non-members. RSVP at TransForm’s website.
CANCELED – Wednesday, June 23rd – Zoning Update Committee Meeting
At this meeting, the ZUC will review the proposed zoning text and maps, as part of the Citywide Zoning Update. The agenda includes consideration of changing the zoning to the commercial and residential areas of the neighborhoods in West Oakland, North Oakland, and the North Hills. To read the staff report and to see the maps of the proposed zoning, please visit the ZUC’s website, and look at the “Upcoming Meetings” table. This meeting takes place at 4pm at City Hall, Hearing Room 1, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Wednesday, June 23rd – Oakland Boosters & Bloggers for Libby Party
If you know Libby Schaaf, you know Libby loves Oakland! Join her fellow Oakland boosters, including some stars of Oakland’s growing blogosphere, to help out Libby’s campaign for City Council, District 4 Oaktown-style – with some great art, music, locavore cocktails, and the beautiful diversity of people that makes us love our Town. Hosted by Becks, dto510, Vsmoothe, Zennie62, Ratna Amin, Amanda Brown-Stevens, Annie Campbell Washington, Justin Horner, Doug Johnson, Adam Van De Water, and other bloggers and boosters to be named. The party takes place from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Era Art Bar & Lounge, 19 Grand Avenue. Big Booster Host Committee: $100 / Guests: $35. To join the host committee, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and to RSVP, visit Libby’s website. (Disclosure: I am working for Libby’s campaign.)
Wednesday, June 23rd – AC Transit Board Meeting
At this week’s meeting, among other items, the AC Transit Board will be voting on BRT (sans Berkeley) and discussing the agency’s fiscal emergency. This meeting will take place at 6pm in the 2nd floor board room, 1600 Franklin Street. You can read the agenda and see the relevant memos here and you can listen online here.
Thursday, June 24th – California Young Democrats Black Caucus Bay Area Kick Off
You are cordially invited to join East Bay Young Dems and the California Young Dems Black Caucus for the Bay Area leg of their kick off tour on Thursday June 24th. It will be a perfect opportunity to not only meet the members of the Caucus, but connect with many young and emerging leaders as well as seasoned community advocates from around the Bay Area and beyond. This event takes place from 7pm – 9pm at AIR Lounge, 492 9th Street (at Washington). RSVP and find more info on Facebook.
Thursday, June 24th – Temescal Street Cinema
The Third Annual Temescal Street Cinema returns to 49th and Telegraph (Bank of the West Building) this summer for another year of great, free, locally made films! There’ll be live music and free popcorn at every show, with events getting started at 8 PM every Thursday from June 11-July 16. Movies will start when it gets dark, no sooner than 8:30 PM. Come early or bring a chair! This week features Etienne!, in which a young man in San Francisco learns that his hamster will soon die and decides to take the beloved pet on a last road trip. This quirky and deadpan comedy for the whole family mines several veins of unexpected poignancy as the two meet a rich cast of characters on their travels. Find out more details at the Temescal Street Cinema website.
Sunday, June 27th – Oaklavia: Come Play in the Streets
Walk Oakland Bike Oakland is hosting Oaklavía, which will shut down streets to cars and open them up to pedestrians and bicyclists, allowing residents to experience the city’s best natural and architectural assets, outdoor activities, and arts in some of our most well-loved and unique streets and neighborhoods. There will be organized activities spaced out along the route. Explore the vibrancy of Old Oakland dancing to live Latin music, and enjoy the urban landscape of West Oakland with circus arts at Kinetic Arts Center. You’ll also find dance classes provided by the YMCA, bike repair classes by Love Your Bike, bike safety classes led by the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and food carts. This event will take place from 10am-2pm from Broadway and Grand to 7th Street and Market. For more info, including route details and activity information, visit the Oaklavia website.
Monday, May 17th – Citywide Zoning Update Community Workshop (Central Oakland)
Three large community workshops are scheduled to give you a chance to learn about and comment on the proposed commercial and residential zoning text and maps. In order to present the information in a manageable way, the city has been divided into three geographic areas. This workshop will focus on proposed Zoning changes to Central Oakland. The workshop will be held at the Fruitvale/San Antonio Senior Center, 3301 E. 12th Street, 2nd floor from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more info, visit the zoning update website.
Tuesday, May 18th – Oakland City Council Meeting
At this week’s meeting, the Council will be discussing a loan to Merritt Bakery, billboards, the City’s pension liabilities, and more. See the full meeting agenda and check out my post about how to watch and understand City Council meetings if you need some guidance on how or where to view the meeting. The non-ceremonial parts of the meeting start at 6:30pm in the Council Chambers in City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Thursday, May 20th – Oakland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee Meeting
Oakland’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) meets monthly to discusses bicycle and pedestrian issues. The BPAC is extremely inclusive – any Oakland resident who attends three consecutive meetings becomes a voting member of the committee – so if you’re interested in bike and ped issues, you should consider attending. The BPAC will be meeting from 5:30-7:30pm in Hearing Room 4 of City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Thursday, May 20th – Oakland Food Policy Council Meeting
The mission of the Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) is to establish an equitable and sustainable food system in Oakland, California. OFPC will be going over the first round of ideas on concrete, attainable first steps toward achieving each of OFPC’s policy priorities for this year. The invited speaker this month is Tuere Anderson of Youth Radio. Should be a great conversation! The meeting will be held from 5:00 – 7:30 pm at Bay Localize conference room, 436 14th Street, 2nd floor. Find out more about OFPC at their website.
Friday, May 21st – People’s Grocery Community Open House
People’s Grocery is a community-based organization in West Oakland that develops creative solutions to the health problems in our community that stem from a lack of access to and knowledge about healthy, fresh foods. Join People’s Grocery for a late afternoon and early evening of fun, food, community, music, and more. People’s Grocery is celebrating our new office, welcoming neighbors and friends, and sharing information about our programs. We’d love to see you. Stop by for a while or stay for the whole party! There will be delicious food from their programs, drinks from Honest Tea, music from the Western Whistleblowers, and a great opportunity for the community to meet the staff and each other. The open house runs from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at 909 7th Street. Find more info at the People’s Grocery website.
Saturday, May 22nd – Westlake Community Paint Day
Please come to the first City Canvas Community Paint Day at Westlake! Join City Canvas, a new East Bay arts organization, for painting, food, and drinks in the parking lot between Westlake Middle School and First Congregational Church on Harrison. We’ll be painting murals designed by Oakland artist David Stern-Gottfried in collaboration with eighth-grade students at Westlake Middle School. In June, these murals will be on display for First Friday (location TBD, so stay tuned!) and then installed on traffic signal boxes throughout the Westlake/Uptown area. Thanks to Westlake Middle School, Open Circle, the City of Oakland Public Art Program, Benjamin Moore Paints, and Whole Foods Oakland for their support of this project. This event takes place from 10 am to 1 pm at First Congregational/Westlake Parking Lot (entrance at light on Harrison across from Whole Foods). Find more info on the City Canvas website.
Saturday, May 22nd – WOBO Bike to the Movies Night
That’s right. It’s about time WOBO put one of these things together. And have we got a good lineup for you pedal pushers to peep! We’ll be screening Quicksilver, starring Kevin Bacon & Laurence Fishburne, and that’s not all. We’ll also be showing The Scraper Bike King, starring Oakland’s own Baby Champ. Yeah, we thought you’d like that. Oh, and did we mention this was all going down at Linden Street Brewery? Be there – and tell yo’ friends! The movies run from 7-11pm at Linden Street Brewery (95 Linden St, Suite 7/8). Free admission.
Monday, April 26th – Citywide Zoning Update Community Workshop (North & West Oakland)
Three large community workshops are scheduled to give you a chance to learn about and comment on the proposed commercial and residential zoning text and maps. In order to present the information in a manageable way, the city has been divided into three geographic areas. This workshop will focus on proposed Zoning changes to West and North Oakland including the North Oakland Hills. The workshop will be held at the North Oakland Senior Center (5714 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more info, visit the zoning update website.
Wednesday, April 28th – AC Transit Board Meeting
At this week’s meeting, among other items, the AC Transit Board will be discussing further service cuts. You can read about the background of the need for further cuts at John Knox White’s excellent article on Oakland Seen. This meeting will take place at 6pm in the 2nd floor board room, 1600 Franklin Street. You can read the agenda and see the relevant memos here and you can listen online here.
Wednesday, April 28th – Gang Injunction Discussion with Chief Batts
On Wednesday, the Oakland Neighborhood Watch Steering Committee will host Police Chief Anthony Batts, and Ms. Rocio Fierro of the City Attorney’s Office, to discuss the proposed North Oakland Gang Injunction. Chief Batts and Ms. Fierro will address the following components related to the proposed Gang Injunction:
- What the Gang Injunction is, and how they have been successfully used elsewhere.
- The areas and boundaries of Oakland to be impacted by the Injunction.
- Who will be impacted, and how will they be impacted.
- The possibility of using Injunctions elsewhere in Oakland, if this one is successful.
- Statements to address the City’s positions on the ACLU’s opposition to the Gang Injunction.
This meeting takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall, One Frank Ogawa Plaza, in Hearing Room 4. Please RSVP to attend this meeting. You may send an RSVP to Felicia Verdin at email@example.com or you may contact Felicia at 238-3128. For more info, visit Today in Montclair’s event listing.
Friday, April 30th – Oakland Underground Film Screening: Major Music
The Oakland Underground Film Festival in partnership with Jack London Square presents an exciting spring and summer series of films, performances, and art installations. This week’s FREE screening is “Major Music: Sonic Youth & Kurt Cobain.” The screenings begin at 7pm at Jack London Square Pavilion Theater (formerly Barnes & Noble), 98 Broadway. More info about this screening and future screenings can be found at the event website.
Saturday, May 1st – Jane Brunner’s May Community Advisory Meeting: “Keeping the A’s in Oakland”
This month’s community meeting features Planning Commissioner Doug Boxer, Discussing Fan Support & Economic Study and Eric Angstadt, Outlining Site Options & Next Steps. This meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon at Peralta Elementary School, 460 63rd Street. To learn more, call 238-7001.
Saturday, May 1st – Jane’s Walk
UPDATE: Thanks to Dan Schulman for informing me that there are Jane’s Walks all over Oakland on Saturday. You can see the full listing at the Jane’s Walk website.
Formerly Oakland’s bustling downtown district in the days of railroads and streetcars, this area’s grand, brick, commercial Victorian buildings, now restored, continue to thrive as offices, galleries and eateries. Visit the historic Washington Inn, G.B. Ratto & Co. International Grocers, Swans Marketplace and the “Friends of the Library” bookstore. The tour will also stop by Lafayette Park, where Sue Mark will talk about the 10,000 Steps historic parks project. No Need to Sign Up . . . Just Show Up. The Jane Jacobs inspired tour takes place from 10am-1pm, beginning at G.B. Ratto & Co., 821 Washington Street and ending at La Borinqueña Mex-icatessen at 582 Seventh Street, where walkers can meet owner Tina Tamale and eat lunch. For more info and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event page.
Saturday-Sunday, May 1st-2nd – OMCA Opening Celebration Weekend
If you’ve been waiting the re-opening of OMCA as anxiously as I have, you should be excited about this awesome 31 hour event: “The newly transformed Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) opens Saturday, May 1, with 31 hours of continuous, round-the-clock free programs and events. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 1, on the street in front of the new Oak Street entrance with a Native American Ohlone blessing, a marching band, Project Bandaloop performing a spectacular aerial dance, and more. And the non-stop celebration continues through 6 p.m. Sunday, May 2. “Only in California” Saturday afternoon activities highlight the innovative and creative spirit of California. Saturday evening and overnight activities take on a more adult flavor with dancing, food, a no-host bar, flashlight tours, and conversations on unique California topics—merging into early morning yoga. Sunday is especially for families with dancing, drumming, juggling, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, and more. The new OMCA Store will be open the full 31 hours so visitors can shop throughout the event.” All festivities take place at OMCA, 1000 Oak Street. Find specific info about the weekend’s activites at OMCA’s website.