Annual Report from Strategic Planning

At the June 17, 2021 BPAC meeting, Laura Kaminski, Acting Strategic Planning Manager, gave an update on existing and new projects including: the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan, an Impact Fee Update, and a General Plan Update. The full presentation is below.

Downtown Oakland Specific Plan (DOSP) — Mobility Objectives:

  • Improve access and safety for pedestrians;
  • Create a world-class transit network linking Oaklanders to downtown
  • Develop a connected network of low-stress bicycling facilities
  • See map (in presentation) of Proposed Low-Stress Short-Term and Vision Bicycle Networks

Transportation Impact Fee 5-Year Update:

  • Update fee schedule from 2016 nexus study based on inflation along with Appendix B – what is necessary to fund cumulative CEQA traffic mitigation costs.
  • Provide additional fee schedule to fund list of potential citywide transportation projects not included in Appendix B.
  • Provide additional fee schedules to fund list of specified transportation projects included in the (1) Downtown Specific Plan (DOSP) and (2) Waterfront Ballpark District at Howard Terminal Project (offsite transportation projects, not direct impacts of Howard Terminal project)

Related article on housing, by Oaklandside 23 June 2021: “‘Depressingly’ behind on building affordable housing, Oakland looks for more money.”

General Plan Update Schedule

  • 2021 spring and summer: Approach and Consultant Team Selection
    • General Plan Update Memo
    • RFP for Consultant Team (Council – September)
    • Backbone CBO as part of consultant team
  • 2021 fall: Official Kick-off
  • 2023, January: Adoption of Housing, Safety, and Environmental Justice Element
  • 2025, July: Adoption of Land Use, Transportation, Noise, Open Space, Conservation, and Recreation Elements


Summary of discussion

  • The Downtown Oakland Specific Plan includes bicyclist and pedestrian recommendations in the downtown area (relevant to one of tonight’s comments during Open Forum).
  • The purpose of impact fees is to generate revenue to offset the impact of new development, but to have those impacts be set at a level that does not stifle the development by making the costs prohibitively expensive.
  • The amount of an impact fee is established by a “fair share” analysis as required by State law. The amount of the fee must be proportional to the cost of the impacts created by a development.
  • The transportation impact fees are less than the housing fees. This was, in part, a political decision by City Council to prioritize affordable housing.
  • For impact fees, the amount assessed tends to be more than the amount collected because portions of the fee are collected at different points in the development process. Additionally, fees may be assessed for permits that eventually expire. If the development does not get built, the fee is assessed but not collected.
  • Community-based organizations will play an important role in the General Plan Update to access existing social networks and to ground the outreach process.
  • When the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan was previously presented to BPAC, the Commission supported the inclusion of pedestrian and bicyclist improvements as these are critically important for a successful downtown. In these previous comments the BPAC encouraged the project to do more in addressing “hot spots” (locations with bicyclist/pedestrian crash trends) and to do more in de-emphasizing the use of private motor vehicles in the downtown.
  • Speakers other than commissioners: George Spies, Dave Campbell

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