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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

Don, I can tell you with some degree of certainty having been involved in the negotiations- those two things will not be a part of this project

Posted by Brandie Albright on 02/03/2017 at 1:43 PM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland City Council Fights Trump Immigration Ban; Police Monitor Contracts Come Back; 2017-19 City Budget

I agree. Oakland's basic city services are still underfunded. Not just police, but also Parks & Rec ($200 million in needed repairs), Pothole Repair & Street Repaving ($300 million in needed funds), Fire Inspectors, reopening closed Libraries, Traffic Safety, lack of School Crossing Guards for children, safe After School programs, etc. etc. etc. People are literally dying while Oakland aggressively engages in national politics but doesn't solve important local problems & provide important local services.

Posted by Hugh Morrison 1 on 02/03/2017 at 12:19 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

I'm not seeing a way to respond to a specific comment, but thanks back to you, Brandie, for correcting me and adding detail to the community benefits complications - the comments to this post are exploring the issues around this project in considerably more depth than the post managed to. I do want to add, though, that I think this project all by itself, with no additional concessions, will end up being a significant community benefit. But if any significant chunk of money gets extracted from the developer, I'd like it to go to significantly subsidized retail rents aimed at local businesses and a full-service grocery store.

Posted by Don Howe on 02/03/2017 at 12:07 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

A number of urban rail systems--Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Washington--have high rise buildings at a number of stations along their lines.

Posted by Nathan Landau on 02/03/2017 at 10:13 AM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

The delicious stench of Oakland's Mayor's "Secret Sauce" again arises along with another developmental gift for our beautiful city.

They say that Oakland uses more fermented fish sauce in its real estate development recipes than even Bangkok. We can all be so proud.

I love the fragrance of the arms-length relationships with the project of our Planning Commissioners.

Judging simply from the smell, the handful of below-market-rate apartments will make a huge dent in our housing afforablility problem, way beyond their token numbers.

Looking forward to reading about all the formerly-unemployed young Oaklanders who will be able to support their families very well with their high-paying new jobs. Their refrigerators will surely be well-stocked with enough fermented fish sauce for every meal.

Last, but not least, Oakland's new "Trump Tower" will fit perfectly into the neighborhood. It will truly be a fragrant addition to that part of town.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 02/03/2017 at 9:35 AM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

Commenters seem to think that the raw number of pro vs con speakers at the meeting are indicative of the community? The only thing it represents is the fringe BARF crowd, who attempt to skew reality in 2 minute regurgitations.

Posted by Jake Justice on 02/03/2017 at 9:05 AM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

At 80% the median income for households. That is hardly affordable. Specifically because low income households usually only make about 60-70% of the median income. I as a builder who lives in Oakland. Would like to see the 90 units at 60%. That way the families that will be priced out of the surrounding area due to value increases can actually, what's the word, oh yeah, afford housing.

Posted by Shane Saw Sischo on 02/03/2017 at 8:00 AM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

Thanks Don, and the community benefits are tricky in this - what the developer COMMITTED to is around $300k - some of which has already been performed (street lights and an already determined $25k to Mosswood Park) What staff and Councilman Kalb SUGGESTED are $1.1 million. Unfortunately, the Commission moved this forward without adding the condition that the developers actually DO the things prescribed by Council and by Staff - which is a serious problem and leaves the developer able to not do them now.

Posted by Brandie Albright on 02/02/2017 at 9:11 PM

Re: “Hawker Fare Aims to Go Out With a Bang

Please, please, please, come back! How about the Fruitvale area?

Posted by Walter McDowell on 02/02/2017 at 7:28 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

I was there too (and spoke in favor of the tower, as I've done in the past.) Brandie Albright raised a few other points as well; why just report on this one? If Tom Limon's immediate and direct response to this request for recusal was accurate, then no: he has no conflict of interest. Albright, by the way, is a huge asset to the community and my neighbor; we may disagree on this project but her input isn't served well by this post, which appears to have cherrypicked the most potentially inflammatory statement (and the most readily refuted, at least in legal terms.) That was spotty and incomplete reporting. Over here in your utterly failed reporting column: ANY of the comments by ANY of the 46 people who spoke in favor of the project, including representatives of multiple unions, East Bay Forward, and the Greenbelt Alliance. You also forgot to note some (oh wait: I mean any) of the community benefits coming from the developers; was it half a million bucks for Mosswood Park improvements? Check your notes and get back to us on that OK? Then go find a current rendering of the building; the one you're using has been revised and (to my eye) significantly improved in the places it counts. I will look at this building every morning when I leave my house, and I can hardly wait.

Posted by Don Howe on 02/02/2017 at 4:22 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

Way more of the public comments were in favor of the project. As they should be really. 400 units of housing without displacing a single resident.

Posted by AndrewOakland on 02/02/2017 at 4:19 PM

Re: “Trump Threatens UC Berkeley's Federal Funding After Milo Yiannopoulos Protest

Deau Hickey: if that was the case then why was he elected POTUS?

Posted by Matthew Lee on 02/02/2017 at 3:52 PM

Re: “Trump Threatens UC Berkeley's Federal Funding After Milo Yiannopoulos Protest

Matthew Lee: It is obvious to all with an open mind that Barbara Lee can speak for herself! Just because a minority of people used violence and destroyed property does not mean that the protest was not legimate. By any such analysis, your Trump could claim the support of all Americans - since only a minority voted for him; but the truth is, most people abhor him as well as people like you who close your eyes as he makes a fool himself, the idiots who voted for and support him, and most of all our country.

Posted by Deau Hickey on 02/02/2017 at 3:28 PM

Re: “Trump Threatens UC Berkeley's Federal Funding After Milo Yiannopoulos Protest

There is a difference between free speech and hate speech. I applaud and support peaceful protest to the speaking engagement by this extreme right wing hater. However, what we saw again last night was the work of the professional anarchists who unfortunately reside in our midst. These are the same folks who are determined to tear up downtown Oakland every time there is a political issue at the top of the news cycle. I would surmise that these are mostly well off young white kids determined to destroy the same system that has provided them with an easy life with many options. At some point after their youthful exuberance passes, they will take off the hoodies, get haircuts, enroll in law school or take over the family business. What concerned me as I observed the news coverage, was the behavior of the UC Berkeley campus or City of Berkeley Police. I saw the anarchists boldly bashing in the windows of the building and setting fires. The reaction of the Police was to cower in the corner and allow this behavior to continue unchallenged. The news reporters stated they were allowing this out of control activity because they wanted to avoid personal injuries that would result from confrontation. Really? I could never imagine a scenario anywhere in this country when a group of black or brown kids in hoodies would be allowed to willfully vandalize and destroy public property and set fires because the police decided to not engage them in the name of public safety. There would be a battalion of cops with smoke bombs, batons, tanks and assault weapons taking on this "mob" in hand to hand combat. I guess white privelege also extends to professional anarchists.

Posted by Gary Patton on 02/02/2017 at 2:16 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

This is profoundly irresponsible and transparently vindictive journalism. The author cites criticisms about an unpaid board membership at OBA representing a "conflict of interest" without following up. If there is some institutional definition of such a conflict over and above a financial stake in the project, where does this logically end? Would I be barred from ever serving on the Planning Commission if I had a discount membership with SPUR?

Please clarify what constitutes a conflict of interest, and if the allegations against Commissioner Limon are even remotely valid.

Posted by Diego Canabal on 02/02/2017 at 1:56 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

There is actually a definition of a conflict; it is not a she said/he said affair. Here it is (http://www.fppc.ca.gov/learn/conflicts-of-…).

It focuses on personal financial interest; not whether a person has previously exercised their rights of free speech and association.

Posted by Justin Horner on 02/02/2017 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

At the end of the day, all cities in the entire bay area should be approving high density housing at BART stations. After all of these years, it is time to stop allowing residents in surrounding single family neighborhoods to control the political discussion based on density, height and affordability. With that being said, the urban design challenge for the developer is to smoothly integrate the height and scale of the proposal as much as possible so that those adjacent neighborhoods are not overwhelmed. Additionally, it is not unreasonable to require these projects to dig deeper in terms of affordability as a trade off to additional heights and densities. To provide only 10% of these units at 80% of median income, in my opinion is not enough. 80% of median in this case is nearly $100,000 a year for a family 3 or 4. Providing some percentage of the units to residents earning as low as 50% of median income seems more appropriate to me. Building height next to the freeway is not a problem, but the project could do a better job stepping down the mass of the buildings to the scale of the neighborhood.

Posted by Gary Patton on 02/02/2017 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

Dense housing doesn't need to be so, well in a word, ugly

Posted by Emily S Howard on 02/02/2017 at 1:37 PM

Re: “Trump Threatens UC Berkeley's Federal Funding After Milo Yiannopoulos Protest

A protest isn't a license to destroy stuff. It's actually an attempt to create something. In this case, the stuff that happened is now overshadowing the actual protest and the thing being protested. Jesus - we really need to get this shit right or hate speech and hate crimes will be able to claim oppression, which is the very thing that gave birth to Trump in the first place.

Posted by Jono Schneider on 02/02/2017 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Oakland Planning Commission Approves 'Mammoth' Tower Next to MacArthur BART

I was present for this hearing and counted 42 public comments in support of the project, and only 15 in opposition. The overwhelming majority of the public speakers present at the hearing approve of this project, but someone reading this article would assume that virtually all the speakers were opposed. It's regrettable that East Bay Express took this lazy "planning commission vs. the public" approach to covering this project.

Posted by Tony Albert on 02/02/2017 at 12:40 PM

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