2/3/17 OAKLAND, CA — On February 1st, the Oakland Planning Commission commenced its review of the MacArthur Transit Village Project's Parcel B. This is the final planning commission meeting for the project before it's sent to council. Members of East Bay Forward and friends filled the rows in city hall clad in matching shirts to provide a visual representation of the support for this project. “One of the most important things we can do is use our limited land wisely” stated an advocate from the Greenbelt Alliance. Aaron Eckhouse followed, “I think it’s great that we’re building so much density right next to BART it adds affordable housing and helps with the housing crisis.” A rough tally of the room indicated that there were about 45 speakers in favor and 14 against.
Opponents of the project conveyed that they would like hundreds fewer homes in the complex due to fears of shadows and sun glare. In an apparent grasp at straws for valid reasons to oppose housing, the Coalition for Appropriate Development asserted that we should definitely not build this project because birds might not know how to adjust for the wind.
Commission member Elizabeth Weinstein, a CEQA lawyer, debunked the opposition's assertions that the Transit Village requires a new EIR for the shadows, light, and birds, by explaining that density near transit is best for the environment and the developers have already been through strenuous checks during this process. Additionally, Weinstein added that "we have an obligation to our region to build transit oriented housing here, and a moral obligation to do so due to climate change." The planning commission unanimously sent the recommendation to approve the project to city council.
East Bay Forward is an unincorporated coalition dedicated to solving the housing crisis in the bay area. They meet monthly in Oakland or Berkeley, and spend their free time showing up at city meetings to fight for more housing. Find out more at https://eastbayforward.org or email email@example.com for further details.