PANIL’s Comments to Oakland General Plan Draft EIR and Housing Element

  1. With the push for densification of housing, the General Plan should require public open space (parks, playgrounds, gardens), based on density and within a walkable proximity of all new residences. We propose for housing:
    a) The maximum proximity to public open space should be 1/4 mile.
    b) There should be a ratio between housing square footage and open space square footage of approximately 20/1. For example, 1000 sq. ft. of housing would require 50 sq. ft of public open space; 20 such units would require 1000 sq. feet of public open space. This ratio could be adjusted for circumstances, but generally it should be the norm.
  2. The minimum width of a sidewalk should be 10 feet between a curb and a building when in urban and rural main street place types. For all other locations, the minimum width of sidewalk should be 6 feet when contiguous to a curb or 5 feet when separated by a planting strip. Sidewalk width does not include curbs. With increases in sidewalk activities (e.g. dining), and the need to provide better more un-encumbered walking spaces for seniors (aging population) and youngsters, these should be the standards.
  3. The City should significantly increase affordable housing in-lieu fees on new development by 50-75% to generate more revenue for affordable housing and open space and to promote more inclusion of low-cost units within new construction.
  4. There are no current design guidelines that apply to non-commercial corridor districts like Piedmont Avenue even though these districts possess many of the same qualities as commercial corridor districts. The Housing Plan should be modified to state, “The Oakland Commercial Corridor Design Guidelines be applied to all commercial districts in the city of Oakland.”

William Manley
Steering Committee, PANIL
May 9, 2023