Kick-off slated for study of CN-1 zoning

Will look at whether use permits can be "extinguished"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A study of CN-1 zoning (the zoning for the College Ave commercial area, as well as other thriving Oakland neighborhood commercial areas) will kick off next Wednesday evening, May 27th, with a meeting at the Rockridge Branch Library.  RCPC's land use committee will be hosting the first meeting in conjunction with the monthly land use committee meeting.

The study grew out of long-standing concerns about whether the CN-1 zoning, the successor to College Avenue's successful C-31 zoning, needed to be "tweaked" to keep College Avenue thriving.  A major concern has been the encroachment of non-retail uses in College Avenue's storefront area.  While many of these uses require use permits, those use permits currently never expire, even if the use has been discontinued for years.  Indeed, some addresses have accumulated a "closet" of different use permits for restricted non-retail uses such as restaurant, office space, community assembly, etc.  As use permits accumulate, it becomes harder and harder to maintain the "critical mass" of retail businesses needed to attract shoppers and keep College Ave commercially successful.

Other topics may also be discussed, such as the proliferation of personal grooming uses (e.g., hair salons, nail salons, etc) and whether the threshold size for requiring a use permit for any use (currently 5,000 sq. ft.) should be uniform, or vary with the type of use.  Representatives of stakeholders in Oakland's CN-1 commercial areas, which also include Piedmont Ave., Montclair Village, Glenview, Dimond, and Lakeshore, have been invited to attend.  The meeting will be open to the public and starts at 7:30 PM in the upstairs meeting room.