Please Note: The City is now working on responses to questions discussed at this meeting. I will post the answers upon receiving them.
Oakley City Manager Bryan Montgomery and staff kindly made themselves available last night for a 90-minute meeting with residents at my request which allowed for an open dialogue regarding the proposed Density Bonus on tonight’s City Council Agenda.
The end result of last nights meeting was that a second outreach meeting will occur next Thursday night for residents of Oakley to allow for more attendance. Based on last night’s discussion and major concerns, it is my hope staff will recommend to the council that more information is required from the developer before a vote can be taken.
Although there was a low turnout at the meeting—which was expected with less than 48-hour notice and a 5:00 pm time, I believe residents did take the City Manager and staff to task on issues that may have been overlooked by prior city councils and city management.
In fairness, it should be noted that the meeting was more to present concerns rather than for the city to provide all the answers to our concerns upon asking them—the staff to respond accordingly in writing in response to the Corporation for Better Housing (CBH) which submitted a Density Bonus application for an additional 105 units composed of low, very-low, and extremely-Low Income Level Housing at Carol Lane (509 total units).
While I understand residents cannot do much to stop this Density Bonus per State Law, as well as the three towers, this meeting was to address concerns and find a way to make the best out of a bad situation.
Still, the consensus was the city staff did not understand that we are living this problem and did not need a philosophy lesson. The reality is because of State Law, the problems residents are experiences will soon be compounded by the building of additional towers and the council approval of a density bonus. Our goal is to work out ways to protect the neighborhood sooner rather than later.
These concern and question asked revolved around eh follwoing which included:
- History of the general plan / zoning – why this location?
- Spreading out the low-income throughout Oakley vs. one location
- Layout of the facility – senior housing closest to neighboring homes
- Impact on Orchard Park School
- Options with Antioch School District
- Police services impact
- Fire services impact
- Amenities at the facility – parks/recreation
- Broken fence problem
- Bordering wall solution
- Management problems at the facility
- Trees and other solutions to obstruct direct viewing from buildings to residents homes
- Realtor problem – no disclosers regarding this project
- What if Oakley Council simply said “No” to the density bonus
City Manager Bryan Montgomery had made a verbal promise to respond to these questions in writing prior to next week’s meeting—they would also create an FAQ and provide additional information.
One item of note that I did not like was the notice to just 70-residents in the area when this issue actually will affect all of Oakley. Yes, I understand State Law states residents within 300 ft. shall be notified, but this is a complex issue that affects all of Oakley for the reasons stated above.
I feel like residents who participated last night fought the good fight on behalf of Oakley. This is now its in the hands of city staff and the council.
If there is no delayed vote tonight, I would hope the council/city manager can get some of these concerns verbally addressed and agreed to on the record during the meeting.