Zoning Update in Oakland?

An antiquated set of zoning laws has been at the heart of a debate between preservationists and developers in Oakland for years, though a compromise in the form of new zoning rules may be in the city's near future.

"The plan, if approved by the Planning Commission and then the City Council, would:

-- Raise height limits downtown to 200 feet except in historic commercial districts and some neighborhoods.

-- Provide unlimited building heights along the city's main Broadway corridor.

-- Limit building heights on the downtown side of the Lake Merritt waterfront to 270 feet.

In Oakland, height limits on the Lake Merritt waterfront are always a hot-button issue among preservationists, no-growth proponents and developers.

And while planners tried to strike a compromise between the developers' desires for downtown residential sites and preservationists' wishes to protect landmark neighborhoods, critics from both sides are expected to weigh in at Wednesday's meeting. In anticipation of much debate, the item has been placed last on the agenda and will not be discussed until after 8 p.m."

Full Story: Oakland's chance to modernize zoning rules

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