East Bay for Everyone congratulates the City of Oakland for passing a package of zoning amendments that will meaningfully expand housing opportunities across the city. These policy changes include: 1) greater height limits along corridors like College Avenue and Claremont Avenue; 2) an Affordable Housing Overlay to allow higher density and greater height for low-income housing across Oakland; and 3) streamlined ministerial approval of missing middle housing types throughout the city. These changes will allow for more Oaklanders of all income levels to find homes in areas with high-quality transit, good public amenities, and quiet streets.

East Bay for Everyone launched our Upzone Rockridge campaign in 2017 to call for greater housing opportunities in one of Oakland’s most resource & transit-rich neighborhoods, to raise awareness of how exclusionary zoning in wealthier neighborhoods contributes to displacement in poorer ones, and to show the way to better policies. In the run-up to the Housing Element and General Plan Update, we organized, showed up to meetings and wrote letters to the Planning Department, local electeds, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development to let people know: we must undo the 1974 Rockridge downzonings.

With the passage of these zoning amendments we are happy to say that: Rockridge has been upzoned! We look forward to helping make implementation of this change a success. It has been 50 years since the last dedicated affordable housing, Otterbein Manor from SAHA, was built in Rockridge. We hope that new zoning will allow the next 50 years to include a lot more affordable housing opportunities in the neighborhood. Join us in celebrating this victory at McNally’s Irish Pub on October 25 at 6pm, around the corner from Otterbein Manor.

East Bay for Everyone launched our End the Apartment Ban campaign in 2020 with the goal of legalizing missing middle housing in East Bay cities so that more residents can enjoy the benefits of life in neighborhoods that had been walled off by exclusionary detached-house zoning. We want to particularly thank CM Rebecca Kaplan for her council resolution in early 2021 committing Oakland to this policy in concept and supporting its final approval. Oakland’s zoning amendments represent a substantial victory for that goal, and the city has once again shown itself to be a leader on forward-thinking housing policy in California. We look forward to engaging Oakland on the implementation of this policy in a way that will make it as successful as possible in expanding housing opportunities throughout the city, especially in historically exclusionary neighborhoods, as well as pointing the way to further state legislation. Next stop: Berkeley!

About East Bay for Everyone:

East Bay for Everyone is a network of people fighting for the future of housing, transit, tenant rights, and long-term planning in the East Bay. Learn more about our work at https://eastbayforeveryone.org/.

East Bay for Everyone’s co-executives John Minot and Jonathan Singh are available for comment. Please contact info@eastbayforeveryone.org for access.