Lake Merritt Station Area Plan meeting near Laney College tonight

Student input is drastically needed at an upcoming community meeting on Wednesday, April 14 about the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan.

The City of Oakland, BART and the Peralta Community College District, through a grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, have come together to prepare a Station Area Plan for the area around the Lake Merritt BART Station, according to the City's website.

Lake Merritt Station Plan
Wednesday, April 14
6:00-8:00 pm
MTC Headquarters
101 8th Street (at Oak St)
The Plan will consider land use, buildings, design, circulation, BART improvements, streetscape improvements, parks and public spaces. It will identify actions the City and the other public agencies should take to improve the area, and it will establish regulations for development projects on private property. The project also involves the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the Station Area Plan.

The planning area is a one-half mile radius around the Lake Merritt BART Station, which encompasses Chinatown, Laney College, civic buildings of Alameda County and Oakland and the channel connecting Lake Merritt to the estuary. Many diverse residents, businesses and students make up the community of this area, and Chinatown functions as a citywide center for the Asian community.

The Station Area Plan must address the needs of the community, as well as the needs of BART related to ridership, and the needs of the College District related to education and maximizing the use of their land. BART has stated that it envisions the area transitioning from its current status as an “Urban Neighborhood Station” to a “Regional Center” station type.

Some of the key objectives of the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan, which will continue to be developed and refined throughout the planning process, include:
  • Increase use of non-automobile modes of transportation, including walking, bicycling, bus, BART, carpooling, ridesharing and other options; and reduce auto use.
  • Increase the housing supply, especially affordable housing for low-income residents. Specifically increase the amount of housing around the BART station.
  • Increase jobs and improve access to jobs along the transit corridor.
  • Provide services and retail options in the station area.
  • Identify additional recreation and open space opportunities

The Lake Merritt Station Area Plan will be developed over approximately a two-year period from November 2009 to the end of 2011. A major part of the planning process is to engage the community in discussions about the future of the area.

There will be opportunities to get involved at all stages of the process, from the initial visioning and exploration of plan alternatives to the selection of the preferred plan and review of its accompanying Environmental Impact Report. We encourage you to take this opportunity to make your voice heard.

The Landmarks Advisory Board, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, and the Oakland Planning Commission will review the Draft Station Area Plan, as well as the boards of the Peralta Community College District and BART. The Oakland City Council is the body responsible for final review and approval of the Plan as well as the EIR.

Although Peralta district officials have been meeting with officials to discuss the plan, no students have been included to date.

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