Stuart Flashman

RCPC Board of Directors Seeks “New Blood”

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No, we’re not vampires, but RCPC is looking for two new members for its board of directors. While six current board members are up for re-election this month, there are also two vacancies in seats not up for election.

Citywide Zoning Update

Saturday, December 4, 2010

January 2011

The Planning Commission approved citywide revisions to Oakland’s zoning at its December 15thmeeting and sent them forward for City Council consideration and approval.  For the most part, Rockridge’s zoning has been left unchanged.  However, Telegraph Avenue through Temescal and north to the Berkeley border is proposed for heights of up to sixty feet, despite how that will tower over the adjoining historic and small-scale residential areas. 

Safeway Plans for redeveloping the Rockridge Shopping Center

Monday, January 3, 2011

Two years ago, Safeway proposed initial plans for rebuilding the Rockridge Shopping Center.  This fifteen acre strip mall at the corner of Broadway and Pleasant Valley Avenue is North Oakland's largest commercial center.  (The O/E Bay Bridge East shopping center at 40th Street and San Pablo Avenue is larger, but half of it is in Emeryville.)  Those plans were widely criticized for an unimaginative suburban design.

Rockridge Shopping Center Reconstruction Project (Broadway and Pleasant Valley)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Planning Commission’s design review committee will hold a public hearing December 8, 5 p.m., at City Hall, Hearing Room 1, to review this project, which will reconstruct and expand North Oakland’s most important shopping center.

RCPC is working with four other local community groups to present an alternative community proposal.

Rockridge Center Safeway Project Archive

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nov. 6, 2010: Land Use Committee Discusses the Center

The Land Use Committee discussed design aspects of this very large project at its October meeting. The committee expressed concerns about the large amount of surface parking being proposed, the location of the Safeway at the rear of the center and far removed from transit stops, the ineffective use of the project’s frontage on the adjoining quarry pond, and the relative inactivity of the design’s Broadway and Pleasant Valley street frontage.

ULTRA alternatives for the Rockridge Shopping Center

Here are two alternatives proposed by Urbanists for a Livable Temescal Rockridge Area ("ULTRA") for redevelopment of the Rockridge Shopping Center.  ULTRA advocates higher-density transit-oriented residential development. 

College Avenue Safeway Shopping Center (Corner of College & Claremont Avenues)

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on this 62,000 sq. ft. commercial project is expected to be released some time in the next month or two. RCPC will post information about the DEIR’s availability on the Web site and will also send out notification of the publication on the RCPC e-newsletter. Copies should be available for review at the Rockridge branch library and in electronic form on the City’s Web site.

Rockridge Montessori School (6516 Broadway)

The RCPC board heard from Rockridge Montessori’s owners and architect at its June meeting. Boardmembers expressed concern about the inadequacy of the traffic report, potential impact to bicycle safety, especially after bike lanes are installed on Broadway, and the school’s continuing expansion into a residential-zoned area. In the end, the board voted to oppose the application unless the school agreed to a number of conditions, including several traffic mitigation measures and a binding commitment not to seek any further expansion without prior approval from the RCPC board.

Citywide Zoning Update

After a series of public meetings where zoning plans were presented, city staff now believes the city’s proposed zoning revisions are ready to begin the formal approval process. The first step will be a review by the Planning Commission’s Zoning Update Committee. The first hearing, which will cover North Oakland (including Rockridge) and the Oakland Hills, is scheduled for July 14 at 4 p.m. at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1 (1st floor). Two items that Rockridge residents may wish to comment on are:

Rockridge Shopping Center (Corner of Broadway and Pleasant Valley)

The RCPC board also heard a presentation from David Zystra of Safeway’s Property Development Centers division, who reported that the newest revised plans for redeveloping the Rockridge Shopping Center involve a slightly bigger expansion (130,000 sq. ft. versus 110,000 sq. ft in the previous proposal). They also include actual internal streets within the shopping center, rooftop parking instead of the subterranean lot previously proposed, and a new threestory structure on the corner of Pleasant Valley and Broadway, where the Chase Bank building is now.

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