downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — chinatown

Top-secret public meeting revealed!

April 4, 2008

Numerous downtown residents and interested parties have complained that the Downtown Zoning Update has featured a remarkably poor public input process. First, councilmembers Nancy Nadel and Pat Kernighan, who represent downtown, convened two meetings to get input on zoning around Lake Merritt. Both of the meetings were held outside of downtown as defined by the General Plan. Then the city staff, with the assistance of Councilmember Nadel, held two meetings specifically on the downtown Zoning Update, again outside of downtown. After members of the public (and a City Council candidate) complained that “nobody downtown knows about this process,” the Planning Commission ordered the planning staff to hold one more public input meeting, actually inside downtown this time. While nothing has been added to the official Zoning Update page or the Yahoo! Group created by Councilmember Nadel, I have learned that there is in fact a meeting scheduled.

On Monday April 7 Councilmembers Chang and Kernighan and the planning staff are holding an outreach meeting, starting at 6p, a Restaurant Peony in Chinatown. The forum is organized by the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. This was revealed only by a neighborhood services coordinator who spotted the email on the “Asians in Oakland Government” group and then shared it with her neighborhood group.

Though Old Oakland, SOBO, Uptown and Downtown Lake Merritt don’t seem to merit the notice of city planners or Councilmembers, at least there will be one meeting on the downtown zoning update that’s actually inside the affected area. Too bad few people will know about it.

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DTO Zoning meeting tonight in Adam's Point

March 17, 2008

Tonight, the Planning Department will present the final of their four public input meetings regarding proposed zoning for the Central Business District. This final meeting will not be downtown, but in Adam’s Point, at the Sailboat House (which is poorly served by public transit) at 6:30. To be discussed are use restrictions, separate residential and commercial zones, and strict design guidelines. For a thorough explanation of what exactly the new zoning proposes, see A Better Oakland’s post, Zoning From Mars.

The proposal will be presented to the Zoning Update Committee of the Planning Commission on Wednesday, at City Hall, which is actually downtown. And near several different transit lines.

Also, I’d like to thank the Oakland Museum for throwing one of the DTO’s best parties ever. Make Me, Hottub, DJs, exhibits, and free beer – I can’t remember so many people ever having so much fun at our beautiful museum.

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