Monday, March 12, 2012

Plans at Lake Merritt BART, Cultural Arts Grants and Measure Y Review

Oakland City Council Committees meet Tuesday, March 13th.  Three particular items may interest Chamber members:
Community & Economic Development  2pm    Jane Brunner - Chair
A Report on the Draft Preferred Plan for the Approximate Half Mile Area Surrounding the Lake Merritt BART Station, which Contains Concepts and Strategies for Land Use, Open Space, Affordable Housing, Historic Preservation, Circulation, Streetscape, and Building Heights; and Will Be the Basis for a Draft Station Area Plan, which Will Be Studied in an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

The Draft Preferred Plan projects that between 3,700 and 5,600 new housing units, up to 5,755 new jobs, 412,000 square feet of additional retail space and 2.1 million square feet of additional office space will be created in the Planning Area by 2035. It also identifies near-term and long term improvements related to public safety, recreational and open space opportunities, transportation, and lighting.

The plan is available on line: go to Reports.  This could be a great opportunity for positive projects in the heart of the city.  There are some frustrations being expressed about height limits, affordable housing requirements, community benefits and other issues.

Life Enrichment   4 pm      Desley Brooks - Chair
Approximately $850,000 in Cultural Arts Grants supporting 52 Oakland non-profits and artists are on the agenda for Council approval.  Chamber members receiving grants include: Civic Corps Schools, Contare Con Vivo, Friends of Peralta Historical Park, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland Ballet, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement, Pro Arts and Stagebridge.  Congratulations to them and thanks for their good work in our community!

Public Safety   5:30 pm   Patricia Kernighan - Chair
Measure Y requires an annual report identifying (a) the amount of funds collected and expended; and (b) the status of any project required or authorized to be funded.

Patel & Associates, an independent accounting firm and subcontractor, performed the Measure Y - Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act of 2004 financial audit for the year ending June 30, 2011.

Summary of spending by category:

Community &             Hire and keep 63 officers assigned to:                       $ 5,238,568

Neighborhood             Neighborhood beat officers, school safety,

Policing                       crime reduction team, domestic violence

                                    and child abuse prevention and officer

                                    training and equipment

Violence Prevention    Expand preventive social services by the                   $ 6,086,416
Services – emphasis    City or add capacity to community based
Youth & kids              nonprofit programs – Youth outreach
                                    Counselors, in and after school programs,
                                    domestic violence and child abuse
                                    counselors and offender/parolee
                                    employment training

Fire Services                Maintain staff and equip. for 25 fire engine               $ 4,000,000
                                    Companies and seven truck companies,
                                    expand paramedic services and establish a
                                    mentorship program at each station

Program Audit            1 – 3% of Measure Y funds for the purpose of          $  479,985
& Oversight                independent evaluation of the program, including
                                    the number of people served and the rate of
                                    crime or violence reduction.
Total                                                                                                                $15,804,969

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