So many meetings, so little time

Tonight is lousy with important meetings. Blighted buildings, industrial zoning, Measure Y, and Children’s Hospital are all competing in the Wednesday night time slot. How is a concerned citizen supposed to choose? If only we had TIVO for public meetings. Anyway, take a look at what’s on the calendar.

NCPC Meeting – 14th and Jackson Update
6:00 PM City Hall, Hearing Room 3

The Jackson Court Condominiums, which broke ground in August 2003 and was originally scheduled to be finished by November 2004, has been sitting, shrink-wrapped and half-finished for the last two years. The shrink wrap came down briefly last fall, which led me (naively) to believe construction must be restarting. Nope! Turns out the old shrink wrap had just fallen apart. The plastic covered eyesore sitting at 14th and Jackson has spawned an entire blog devoted to advocating municipal action on the building. Although the project is in clear violation of Oakland’s blight ordinance, the City has shown little interest in pursuing abatement of the problem, or even awareness that it exists. A 2005 10K projects list (PDF!) estimates completion by Summer 2005, The February-March 2006 Major Projects List (PDF!) gives the status as “completed,” an August 2006 10K Project Update (PDF!) claims completion is expected in September 2006, the October-November 2006 Major Projects List (PDF!) also claimed it was finished. The current list (PDF!), from Sept-Oct 07, erroneously lists the abandoned property as “under construction.”

Lakeside Lucy reported on The DTO that the building has been purchased by Garlock & Company, owners of 1500 Broadway and 1538 Broadway. Nancy Nadel’s office was unable to confirm this with constituents who inquired about the status of the property – staffer Carletta Starks informed one concerned citizen that she did not know who the owner of the building was. (Update: Apparently the building is now owned by G3 Development Group.)

In any case, the building’s new owner will attend tonight’s NCPC meeting to inform residents what the current plans are.

Measure Y Oversight Committee Meeting – Finalize Semi-Annual Report
6:30 PM, City Council Chambers

The Measure Y Oversight Committee will meet to finalize their Semi-Annual Report, which will then be forwarded to the City Council.

An early draft of the report questioned Dellums’s request to use Measure Y reserves to fund his recruitment plan:

The city would have to demonstrate that an additional $6 million on top of the existing Measure Y investment in recruitment will not off set the required funding to hire and maintain 63 officers. Measure Y does not currently have the funds to cover this expense according to all of the financial and staffing projections provided by the city to date.

The section is omitted in the new draft. Committee Chair Maya Dillard-Smith aired her objections to the proposal in the Trib earlier this week, so it is possible that the item could be added back into the report.

Planning Commission: Industrial Land Use Policy Discussion
Post-8:00 PM, City Hall, Hearing Room 1

This is a big one. New CEDA Director Dan Lindheim is requesting that the City Council adopt an Industrial Land Use Policy statement (PDF!) saying:

1. Industrially designated land in the City of Oakland is a scare resource;
2. The preservation of industrially designated land is vital for the future economic growth of the City of Oakland;
3. The City recognizes that land use patterns change over time more quickly than General Plan updates occur and the General Plan amendments may be necessary; and
4. Amendments to the General Plan to allow conversion of industrially designated land to residential uses should be restricted to projects that make the required findings based on an adopted set of criteria, developed through a public process, for evaluating such conversions; and
5. Direct staff to develop such criteria and required findings through a public process, present them to Planning Commission and return to Council for adoption.

Okay, I have so much to say about this, but you won’t get to hear any of it today. Instead, you should be sure to check out Novometro tomorrow, where I will have a whole story about it. I may do a supplemental blog post on the subject as well.

Children’s Hospital Expansion
North Oakland Senior Center 5714 MLK Jr. Way
7-9 PM

And here we all thought it was over after Measure A failed! Apparently Children’s Hospital didn’t need public money to fund their expansion after all, since they are proceeding with their development plans. Former Children’s Hospital CEO Tony Paap wrote a scathing condemnation of the campaign for the Berkeley Daily Planet. If you’re as confused about what’s going on as everyone else seems to be, tonight’s meeting may provide some answers.

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