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Agenda Item

3.1 22-0099 Subject: Appeal Of 1396 5th Street Project From: Planning And Building Department Recommendation: Conduct A Public Hearing An Upon Conclusion Adopt One Of The Following Three Options: 1) A Resolution Denying The Appeal By East Bay Residents For Responsible Development And Thus Upholding The Planning Commission's Environmental Determination And Approval Of A Proposal To Construct 222 Dwelling Units On The Existing Vacant Lot Located At 1396 5th Street, Oakland Ca (Project Case No. PLN20-101); Or

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    Ronnie Stewart almost 2 years ago

    Ronnie K. Stewart, West Coast Blues Society
    Being raised at 916 Adeline Street I've watched 7th Street a thriving community of mostly African Americans go to A, run down board it up empty lots .
    My organization the West Coast Blues Society have created The Music They
    Played On 7th Street Oakland, to keep alive the legacy and history of what was once called the Harlem of the West Coast
    The 7th Street Blues Walker famous in badly need of cleaning and maintenance.

    The Michael's organization have stepped up to the plate and pledge support for The only reminder of the legacy and history of 7th
    Street.

    The Michaels organization/Golden West Development is very interested in keeping the legacy and history of the most famous street on the West Coast alive and well
    . West Oakland need these type of developers who's not only interested in just building but interested in keeping the history that surround them alive.
    There's been numerous building projects in West Oakland and it's only one other developer that is concerned about the history and keeping the legacy alive of 7th.Street

    I respectfully request that City council Members unanimously approve. The GOLDEN
    WEST DEVELOPMENT PROJECT., BECAUSE WE FINALLY HAVE A DEVELOPER WHO IS INTERESTED IN THE LEGACY AND HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY OF 7TH , STREET Thanks Blues Always

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    Sean Golden almost 2 years ago

    As an Oakland resident, we desperately need more housing to both help with the affordability crisis and to meet our ambitious climate goals. I support Option 1, Deny the appeal. After 10 years of blight at this site, we need move this project forward - housing delayed is housing denied. Instead of allowing special interests to weaponize CEQA against dense housing near public transportation, we should use standard mechanisms in the permitting process to address the concerns brought up in this appeal. Thank you very much, Sean.

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    Prescott Chair almost 2 years ago

    We support the denial of this appeal, Option 1

    The denial of this appeal allowing for the needed Transit Oriented Development of housing to move forward, understanding during the course of construction, based on the action plan developed, additional testing will be performed on the site.

    Denying this appeal and allowing this housing development to move forward, will create the needed sense of urgency that will benefit the other Mandela Transit Village developments that will collectively provide the critical mass, needed housing, families to support our schools and attract the additional retail that is absence from the area.

    As a community we ask for the denial of the appeal which we felt was frivolous and not the intention of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

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    John Sander, Wood Street Community Action Group - Lead almost 2 years ago

    Councilmembers - Today you are faced with a decision, a simple decision that can provide for much needed housing, including 16 very low-income units. Deny the appeal and allow this planning commission unanimously approved project to move forward.

    West Oakland/Prescott neighborhood, having a large number of vacant lots, is suffering from blight, crime, dumping and a complete lack of respect for human dignity. This is exemplified at 1396 5th Street. The project planned for this lot is an immediate opportunity for improvement, it provides 222 desperately needed homes, with 16 very low-income units and will bring relief to some of the ills plaguing our City. The only thing standing in the way is a frivolous CEQA appeal.

    The Wood Street Community Action Group was so disappointed at the outcome of the hearing on September 21, 2021 that we engaged an attorney to research the legality of Council’s actions and submitted a letter to City Attorney on January 7, 2022 supporting our belief that Council/City is in jeopardy of violating the Housing Accountability Act, and conformance with the West Oakland Specific Plan EIR.

    We also heard from the Chief of the Land & Water Division for Alameda County Department of Environmental Health that this parcel is one of the cleanest, remediated lots in all of West Oakland.

    The Wood Street Community Action Group overwhelmingly supports this project and we implore you to reconsider your position and vote to deny this appeal.

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    Jennifer Figueroa almost 2 years ago

    Please support the Golden West Development project by denying this appeal. If this project does not proceed, once again West Oakland will miss an economic opportunity that will provide much needed housing and improve the area, which has been plagued by blight and crime for years, for existing residents.

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    Fredy Liu almost 2 years ago

    Me = Prescott / West Oakland resident here.
    - Option 1 PLEASE DENY
    - Overall, West Oakland residents SUPPORT this Golden West Development project
    - Please DENY this Appeal

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    Daniel Bean almost 2 years ago

    West Oakland faces many challenges: crime, blight, environmental insecurity, and a lack of available housing. I support the proposal to move forward (deny appeal) on the Golden West development because it's going to help us chip away, even if slightly, at solving all of those problems.

    The addition of over 200 new homes to our community, with a portion being affordable-rate, is an obvious positive. But even better: Building those units on the site proposed would mean erasing the disgusting, crime-ridden (https://citizen.com/-N-wyFEYtA2vCMV4JUoa) semi-truck graveyard that exists there now. The land is a polluted mess, and the developers will be on the hook to clean it up before the first hammer swings.

    In the even bigger picture, I, like most of my community neighbors, am clamoring to see the Mandela Station transit village become a reality, and Golden West can get us started. Let's build a 7th st corridor that promotes walkable and public transit-accessible housing, retail, and green spaces!

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    Elliot Walters almost 2 years ago

    As a West Oakland resident, homeowner and neighbor that lives very close to this project, I strongly support the Option 1 project & encourage the appeal be denied so we can move forward on this longstanding unmet need for housing and remediation of the blighted lot. This is a remarkably prime location - walking distance to BART - that is not being utilized at all. Instead of seizing the opportunity to provide housing, revitalize the neighborhood and have the developer do the required environmental remediation, the site is sitting neglected and is often crime ridden due to the lack of foot traffic and governance in the area. Bring in housing here, create a walkable community going to/from BART and provide foot traffic to local businesses in the Mandela transit area.

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    Phyllis Horneman almost 2 years ago

    It is more than time for the City Council to approve this proposed development. Housing crisis, right? It is unbelievable that this is still in contention. I really hate to see CEQA used for political maneuvering with no apparent end in sight.

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    Emily Wheeler almost 2 years ago

    There are many things that irritate me about this project — too many to go into with the character limit, but the thing that is irritating me most right now is that once again, City Council seems poised to let City staff walk all over you. Council had directed staff to come back with a resolution to UPHOLD the appeal. Did they do that? No, they did something entirely different. What is the utility of City Council, what power do you all have at all, if City staff regularly and flagrantly flout your directions? I am also very confused about the item title, which seems to contradict the text of the report. Should Council decide to continue rather than uphold the appeal, that would be an acceptable outcome. West Oakland certainly does not need more above-market-rate units furthering the gentrification and displacement of its historic residents. And given the abhorrent state of environmental justice in this country/state/city, you owe Oakland residents your utmost diligence on the issues raised about this site — and so far I have been happy about your response. Please continue to be diligent and keep the needs of long-time Oaklanders (not greedy developers and their gentrifying astroturf organizations) in mind.

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    Alexis Frank almost 2 years ago

    I'm a resident of West Oakland. We desperately need new housing and development. I am writing in support of Option 1 -- please deny this appeal and increase the housing supply.

    Enough is enough. This is an empty lot that is underutilized - especially given it is blocks away from the BART station. The Golden West project should be given a green light. It checks all the boxes. Provides housing. Situated walking distance from public transportation hub. Corrects blight and neglect.

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    Ryan Loughlin almost 2 years ago

    As a West Oakland resident and homeowner, I'm writing in complete support of Option 1. I urge City Council to deny the appeal and move the Golden West project forward.

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    Sean Taylor almost 2 years ago

    I'm a resident of West Oakland, and I live just a couple blocks from the proposed project. I am writing in support of Option 1 -- please deny this appeal which has already delayed a much needed project for the neighborhood. I personally know dozens of neighbors in the community who are all frustrated this project has been delayed so long.

    This is a large empty lot directly across the street from a BART station. The environmental concerns raised by EBRRD are not legitimate, and everyone involved admits this is just a union group using CEQA as a negotiating tool with the developer. It's completely irresponsible to waste valuable city time and delay important development projects like this one.

    We're in the middle of a housing crisis and a climate crisis. Continuing to delay or block development for an obviously positive project is a signal to everyone that things will not get better in Oakland under current leadership.

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    Raymon SutedjoThe almost 2 years ago

    As a West Oakland resident and homeowner, I'm writing in complete support of Option 1. I urge City Council to deny the appeal and move the Golden West project forward.

    Oakland is in a DIRE housing crisis and we need to do everything we can to address this shortage. The Golden West project will provide 222 new homes for families and individuals, including 16 units for low-income residents. Its proximity to West Oakland transit hub also makes it ideal for high-density housing, which enables residents to get around easily and efficiently without driving. This is key to reducing emissions and achieving climate goals.

    The area surrounding West Oakland station has been VERY underutilized for the longest time. It's painful to see blighted, empty parking lots every time I ride BART, when in reality they could be transformed into a lively, vibrant space for the community.

    The CEQA appeal is unfounded and the more we delay this project, the more we're putting the city at risk of violating state law. We are in a crisis and we need to act accordingly. Please remove this absurd delay and move the project forward.

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    Jesse Pollak almost 2 years ago

    I am writing in support of Option 1 and echo all the same things that Tim has highlighted. Reposting his thoughts here:

    We're in a housing crisis. If we're not building hundreds of homes immediately near a major transit station like West Oakland BART, just where are we building? In itself, approving these homes is environmentally responsible and a benefit to the community. This project is consistent with the West Oakland Specific Plan and was unanimously approved by the planning commission. So, these homes are already approved. Delaying the project means fewer homes for people who want to live in Oakland, and higher prices for the rest of us.

    The Council is correct that this site does need additional remediation, and the developer is required to do through the city and county's Conditions of Approval process. Without the project, West Oakland residents are left with a blighted lot that is unremediated. What would the City Council rather have, a blighted and unremediated parking lot or 200+ new homes for people on a freshly remediated lot immediately adjacent a BART station? It's time to lift this unnecessary delay.

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    Tim Courtney almost 2 years ago

    As a West Oakland resident, I write to support Option 1, denying the appeal to delay the already approved development project at Golden West.

    We're in a housing crisis. If we're not building hundreds of homes immediately near a major transit station like West Oakland BART, just where are we building? In itself, approving these homes is environmentally responsible and a benefit to the community. This project is consistent with the West Oakland Specific Plan and was unanimously approved by the planning commission. So, these homes are already approved. Delaying the project means fewer homes for people who want to live in Oakland, and higher prices for the rest of us.

    The Council is correct that this site does need additional remediation, and the developer is required to do through the city and county's Conditions of Approval process. Without the project, West Oakland residents are left with a blighted lot that is unremediated. What would the City Council rather have, a blighted and unremediated parking lot or 200+ new homes for people on a freshly remediated lot immediately adjacent a BART station? It's time to lift this unnecessary delay.