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OAKLAND, CA-The City of Oakland wants property owners, business owners and developers to attend a workshop this week on proposed zoning changes to the city’s commercial areas that would go into effect in 2010. The proposed changes include a new approach for regulating height, bulk and intensity of buildings along commercial corridors, and new design regulations for the area’s major commercial corridors. The first workshop was held over the weekend. The last one will be held this Thursday.

The City of Oakland began efforts to complete a Citywide Zoning Update in 2007 to bring the zoning regulations and designations in line with the General Plan Land Use and Transportation Element that was adopted in 1998. In June 2008, the Oakland City Council adopting new zoning for the city’s industrial areas. This summer, it adopted new zoning for the Central Business District.

The current zoning update process began in September 2008. City officials say the existing framework of 12 residential and 20 commercial zones is not consistent with the General Plan and has not been comprehensively updated since 1965. In addition to soliciting feedback from the general public two Technical Advisory Groups act as a sounding board for, and provide input to, city staff.

The current draft proposal includes changes to zoning for most of the areas along major corridors or commercial areas, according to a PDF file of the presentation provided to GlobeSt.com. Zoning would change to accommodate higher density residential on major corridors, it says, and new auto-related uses would be restricted to Community Commercial areas or Neighborhood Center Mixed Use areas near freeways.

Height limits would be regulated separately from the uses and would be based on criteria such as solar orientation, transit access and historic context. Additional design standards would include minimum setbacks from residential, maximum setbacks in commercial areas, and transparency requirements for windows in storefronts.

The workshop will be held Thursday, November 12, 2009 at the Fruitvale-San Antonio Senior Center (3301 E. 12th Street, Suite 201) from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Draft zoning proposals for Commercial and Residential zones will be presented to the Zoning Update Committee of the Oakland City Planning Commission in early 2010. For more information about the Citywide Zoning Update process, visit www.oaklandnet.com/zoningupdate.

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