Land Use Update: College Ave Safeway, Rockridge Shopping Center/Merrill Gardens, College Ave. Zoning

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Although the College Avenue Safeway has opened, there are a number of items that do not yet comply with either the use permit conditions or the settlement agreement with community groups. The groups are submitting a list of uncompleted items to Safeway and Terramar (the new owner of the retail building), as is the city. The groups plan to meet with Safeway in February to resolve those items not yet completed. Please e-mail information about issues you have with the project to landuse@rockridge.org.

Rockridge Shopping Center and Merrill Gardens Senior Housing Project - Broadway and Pleasant Valley/51st Street
Demolition of the buildings at the Merrill Gardens site should have started by the time you read this, and demolition of the CVS building at the Rockridge Shopping Center should also begin soon. Get updates on the projects at:

Safeway (Rockridge Center)
http://www.theshopsattheridge.com/
Merrill Gardens: http://www.srmdevelopment.com/rockridge

College Avenue Retail Zoning Working Group
At its January meeting, the Land Use Committee unanimously approved recommending to the RCPC board that RCPC proceed to establish a working group that will discuss and make recommendations to the city about CN-1 zoning revisions. That zoning applies to College Avenue and other neighborhood commercial areas such as Montclair Village, Piedmont Avenue and the Laurel District. The central item is expected to be how to deal with discontinued or abandoned conditional uses. Currently, conditional use permits (for business uses that are only conditionally consistent with CN-1Õs general preference for street level retail) persist even if the use has been abandoned. Other topics, including reviewing existing square footage thresholds for requiring a use permit for retail use and dealing with older large spaces built before the use permit requirement size thresholds were established, may also be considered. RCPC will contact other stakeholders in CN-1 zoned areas across Oakland to establish the working group. We expect there will also be community meetings in the CN-1 areas to gather input.