Land Use Update: Safeways, College Ave Retail

Thursday, June 11, 2015

College Avenue Safeway Project - College and Claremont Avenues: As those who go by the new store will notice, the electronic sign that is supposed to show how many spaces are available in the parking deck is still not working properly. Safeway has been told of the problem, which violates both the settlement agreement with the community groups and the City's conditions of approval for the project. We are still waiting to hear when and how it will be fixed. If you notice other problems with the store's operations, you should raise them with the store manager, but also drop us a line at landuse@rockridge.org.

Rockridge Shopping Center - Broadway (East Side) North of Pleasant Valley Road: Demolition of the CVS building (and probably of the retail building to its west) appears likely to happen in June. The construction of the new Safeway will likely start some time this summer. We hope there will be fewer snafus with this project than there were with the College Avenue Safeway project.

College Avenue Retail Zoning Working Group: The first meeting of the CN-1 study group occurred in conjunction with the May Land Use Committee meeting. Representatives of merchant and community groups from Dimond, Montclair Village, Lakeshore, and Glenview, in addition to RCPC, attended. We have also kept merchant and resident groups for Piedmont Avenue in the loop. Together, these areas make up the parts of Oakland that share CN-1 zoning, which also applies to College Avenue.

The groups shared discussion about what's working with the CN-1 zoning, and what could be improved. There was general agreement that there needs to be a way for use permits to be extinguished when the use is abandoned or replaced. There was also discussion of several unusual situations that may warrant special treatments (e.g., large, old spaces that would be hard to fill if any use would require a use permit). The group plans to meet again at the end of July for further discussion and to pull together recommendations for amendments to CN-1 zoning. Check the rockridge.org website for details of time and place.

Editor's Note: Oakland planning documents describe the CN-1 zone as: "CN-1: Neighborhood Commercial Zone. The intent of the CN-1 zone is to maintain and enhance vibrant commercial districts with a wide range of retail establishments serving both short and long term needs in attractive settings oriented to pedestrian comparison shopping." The zone, previously designated C-31, was originally designed by RCPC and resident neighborhood planners that called on the city to down-zone Rockridge in the 1970s. The area had been zoned to permit high-rise development.