Five Rockridge Housing Scenarios Unveiled

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Alternatives range from wholesale upzoning to changes focused on affordability to leaving Rockridge as-is.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

While there was not a quorum of members present, the June RCPC Land Use Committee meeting nevertheless served as an opportunity to unveil five alternative scenarios for meeting Rockridge's future housing needs.  The scenarios follow up on RCPC's April Town Hall meeting, which focused on the future of housing in Rockridge.  At that meeting three alternative futures had been presented and discussed - one for maximum growth, one with a focus on encouraging affordable housing, and one that would leave the area’s zoning more or less as it is now.

Comments from the audience had expressed a desire to have more options to consider, as well as more detailed analysis of the implications of each option.  The five alternative scenarios presented at the June meeting are intended to expand the range of alternatives.  The meeting also included some discussion of what should be considered in the analysis of the options.

The five options, like the three presented in April, range from radical change to leaving Rockridge’s zoning as it is (the "base case" scenario).  A PowerPoint presentation of the five options, along with photographs showing examples of the different residential densities involved, is available for download here.

Two of the option emphasize a market-driven approach to housing, with upzonings intended to encourage higher density development.  One option would upzone almost all of Rockridge while the other, in line with the Oakland General Plan’s overall development strategy, would focus the upzoning in the areas around the Rockridge BART station and AC Transit bus routes.

The other two scenarios involving change would focus on further encouraging affordable housing.  Both would provide additional incentives beyond what state law mandates for projects including affordable units.  One would apply those incentives throughout Rockridge, while the other would create a new affordable housing zoning overlay district that would apply to sites identified as “Opportunity Sites” for new housing in the General Plan Housing Element.

Those present felt that the wider range of options would help the community better understand what was possible.  The next few months will involve fine-tuning these option with the help of the RCPC Board, community comments, and housing experts and fleshing out an analysis of the impacts, both positive and negative, that each option would have on Rockridge.  Comments on the alternatives can be addressed to landuse@rockridge.org.  The hope is to have a more complete package of options ready to present to the community by the Fall.