Oakland Planning Commission postpones Coliseum City vote to 3/11

Update 3/11 – After another round of comments, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the Specific Plan and Zoning changes. There will be additional public meetings (see schedule below), including City Council sessions on 3/31 and 4/21. The last meeting is when the EIR can be certified.

Original post:

The night started with a report on affordable housing, and pretty much ended with a discussion about affordable housing. Item #3 in tonight’s Oakland Planning Commission meeting was Coliseum City, but the debate among the commenters wasn’t much about environmental impacts or zoning as was expected. Instead it was something of a face-off between Raiders fans who believe that Coliseum City will bring much needed jobs and an economic boost to the area, and East Oakland residents and advocates who fear the displacement effects CC could bring.

Public comments were taken for a good two hours. Many commenters had signs or stickers that said “Public Land Public Good.” They focused on trying to get living wage jobs as part of the deal, truly affordable housing for locals, and rent protections against broad speculation. One speaker noted that 70% of residents in the Coliseum’s ZIP code are renters, so there’s likely to be a solid base of potentially affected citizens.

If that wasn’t enough, the Commission announced that the information packet for the agenda item wasn’t complete, so they would be forced to move the item to a special meeting on March 11. Oral comments were still taken during the meeting, and written comments will be accepted through the 11th, but the vote will be taken next Wednesday.

That won’t be the only vote, as the process must continue. Several other public meetings are planned, culminating in two City Council actions three weeks apart. A first reading of zoning changes and adoption of the Specific Plan are slated to occur at the end of March. A final vote to certify could occur as early as April 21. Here’s the list of remaining meetings:

  • Planning – 3/11
  • ALUC – 3/18

City Council

  • CED – 3/24
  • 3/31 – First Reading of zoning, adoption of Specific Plan
  • 4/21 – Second Reading of zoning

That last date is 60 days after the EIR was distributed, which makes the approval process technically kosher. Since tonight’s meeting was rather light on EIR discussion, I’ll cover that separately tomorrow. I fully expect the EIR to be certified and approved, if only because it’s so vague on what the actual project is.

Until then, I’ll leave this Keith Olbermann interview of Jerry Springer (h/t @StadiumShadow). Skip to 4:21 for the relevant stadium discussion.

Tomorrow I’ll get into many of the EIR details that weren’t covered in the meeting.

P.S. – In case you’re wondering, the green arrow on the chart below shows where Coliseum City is in the CEQA process. Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with funding the project or getting teams to sign on.

ceqa_process_chart-arrow

P.P.S. – The real highlight of the night was this:

33 thoughts on “Oakland Planning Commission postpones Coliseum City vote to 3/11

  1. While I’d love to see this all happen, I’m quite sure none of it will.

  2. LA NFL fans evidently prefer the Rams: here is the results of an ESPNLA.com poll asking which NFL team they would prefer moving to Los Angeles:

    Rams 51%
    Raiders 32%
    Chargers 17%

    When visiting LA, one would believe that the Raiders were the favorite (judging by all the Raiders bumper stickers, fan gear, etc. seen down there – easily way more than any other NFL team)

    • I was just at Disneyland. I saw a few LA Rams hats, a couple Chargers shirts (they all said SD) but most interestingly I saw more than a handful of guys wearing “Los Angeles Raiders” t shirts. I stopped one and asked him about it and he told me that he had his made and didn’t know where the other guys got theirs (he didn’t know them).

      It means absolutely nothing, but it was interesting to see.

      • Last time I was in Disneyland (last Spring), I was shocked at all the A’s gear I saw. Probably second most to Dodgers gear, which was the clear #1. Now, there is a certain amount of selection bias as I am programmed to seek out A’s stuff, but regardless I was pleasantly surprised.

      • Yep. I am the same way and my daughters get so mad when I high five random strangers in A’s hats. I did it plenty this past weekend.

        The most prolific sports gear this weekend was probably Dodgers followed by Lakers. I saw a fair amount of Angels gear, which I am programmed to see and stare at derisvely .

      • Not sure measuring the number of sports fans at the most touristed place in Los Angeles is exactly the best way to get an accurate representation of what team actual residents support.

      • Ezra – I guess that’s why Jeffrey wrote: “It means absolutely nothing.”

        J – I’m the same way with fellow A’s fans (though it’s usually a hearty “Go A’s!”) and derisive stares at Angels fans (and Yankees and Red Sox). On the other hand, I actually had to be nice to a guy in a Seahawks shirt as we both had to laugh about our kids riding the same ride over and over just before closing one night. Plus, he was a nice guy. 😉

    • No surprise there in terms of how they rank.

  3. It’s embarrassing it’s true. But I wish the city leaders would just admit that Oakland is rebuilding and any money is used for x y and z. A land deal is the best option of course for the Raiders allowing the A’s to find a new home or invest in a Oakland approved sight

    • I don’t think investing in a 55k seat football stadium is wise for Oakland in any tangible way. It makes certain they won’t host a Super Bowl, which is one potential benefit.

      • @jeffrey- I don’t see any economic benefit for Oakland for any stadiums developed at CC with a sea of parking that either will require. If Oakland acknowledges no direct economic benefit of one over the other than they could make a case that the NFL is a more popular sport and better for civic pride and creating awareness of Oakland

      • @ GoA’s
        I agree with you. It seems that the only benefit Oakland is looking for is civic pride, which will probably be all they will receive. As we all know most of these stadium ventures bring very little in economic benefit, and certainly far less than the supports of such projects ever promise.

      • Do we know for certain they couldn’t design a 55K stadium to expand to 70K for a Super Bowl? An open end zone with party areas that could be converted to temporary stands might be one option. Or if they repurpose Mt. Davis perhaps the same approach up there might work. Lot’s of stadium designs also leave open space in the corners (e.g Levi’s), which also might work in conjunction with a Mt. Davis refurb.

      • Other than the Super Bowl issue the difference between 55K and 65K seats seems of little consequence to Oakland. And as others have said, unless they can get a critical mass of ancillary development on the site, the difference between 10 Raider dates and 81 A’s dates may not be that significant as well. If this is the case, the argument that an NFL team brings higher visibility etc. seems a plausible one.

      • I’m not sure that the lure of a Super Bowl is any reason to build a bigger stadium if the market studies don’t support being able to fill that capacity during the season. Not sure how much Silicon Valley benefits economically from hosting the 2016 Super Bowl. Glendale labeled it a pain in the ass without any economic benefit. If the Raiders can stay smallish at 55k and retain the passionate fan base by not out pricing them with PSL’s etc then they have an oppty to create a fan experience that would top the ’49ers where many fans sit in luxury but could care less about the game on the field.

      • The Super Bowl element of this is slightly off topic, but if a stadium was built that could host a Super Bowl, Oakland only wins the bid if it’s pitched as a San Francisco Super Bowl. From a marketability perspective San Francisco wins out. The Coliseum could win out over Levi’s though, because it’s a much better location in relation to SF.

        If Oakland pitched a Super Bowl on it’s own they would be competing with SF and the 49ers. No way it gets granted with an SF bid on the table even if the SF bid means the game is played 40 miles away at Levi’s.

        I don’t think a Super Bowl ready stadium really makes a difference because even if “Oakland” hosts a Super Bowl, it would get the same treatment as Santa Clara is getting with next year’s Super Bowl.

      • @ Slacker
        To your point, I don’t think any city in the Bay Area could host anything on a major scale that wouldn’t get the “San Francisco”, treatment. Sorry Oakland, San Jose, Berkeley, Napa county, and even Silicon Valley, if it’s hosted within 50 miles (probably further) of San Francisco in any direction, it’s going to be sold nationally and internationally as a San Francisco event.

  4. I don’t think an Oakland Super Bowl gets quite the same treatment as a Santa Clara Super Bowl. Santa Clara will be invisible next year. Lots of people on the East Coast will probably come away after the game believing the Super Bowl was actually held in San Francisco.

    Oakland is a bit of a different story. Unlike Santa Clara, Oakland is a distinct city, and it’s gritty, blue collar image is part of the Raider mystique.
    Participants will stay and events will still be held in SF, sure, and there’ll be plenty of shots of the SF skyline. But I think Oakland’s skyline gets some shots and some of the narrative would be about Oakland, as well.

    As for Oakland’s chance of getting a Super Bowl: If it builds a halfway decent new stadium that can accommodate 70K (at least on an expanded basis), I think it has a good chance of getting at least one, just because that’s what the NFL does to incent new stadium construction.

    As far as becoming part of the regular rotation, that’s probably less likely unless they build more of a state of the art stadium than seems likely and/or the NFL perceives proximity to SF and its hotels and convention space as a major added value.

  5. I saw most of the city hall meeting last night online. Its true that ALOT of the discussion was about having enough low income or affordable housing at CC. Realistically though CC has to have alot of higher end housing and businesses to help fund the project. Gentrification is a very sensitive topic in cities like San Francisco and Oakland. City politicians in both cities have to appear sympathetic to certain groups but on the other hand most city politicians will not stop gentrification which can lead to increased development and increased revenues by outside investors for a city.

    One interesting comment made by one of the many people who spoke was how the Raiders are actually a tourist attraction for Oakland, even arguing that they are the cities most important tourist attraction. He said while the A’s and Warriors are basically local teams, the Raiders are known internationally and globally. He stated that there several booster clubs in many countries around the world for the Raiders and many fans outside of Northern California fly into Oakland to attend games. He said no other tourist attraction in Oakland can make this claim. Even the lead speaker of the chamber said maybe we more hotels for CC.

    As far as hosting a Super Bowl, even if a stadium was made expandable for 70k it may be awhile before the Bay Area gets to host another one after Santa Clara does it. I agree that no matter where a SB is hosted in the region SF will get a majority of the visual shots and credit.

  6. The Raiders do have a global profile, and may well be Oakland’s biggest tourist attraction. Any hotels built at CC would still have to be filled 355 other days out of the year though.

    Not convinced SF would get a “majority” of visual shots for an Oakland Super Bowl. It would get its share, but maybe not “most.”

    • No doubt about hotels needing to filled most of the year. That’s why some want a roof on the proposed stadium to host more events throughout the year, even if it means adding a roof later on.

      As far as SF getting most of the visual shots, in any Bay Area hosted SB, I don’t put nothing pass the NFL and TV Networks. They may want to play it safe and heavily show SF for the sake of marketing and familiarity. When most people outside of Northern California think of the Bay Area, they only think of SF as the be all, end all of the region. This is slowly changing though, as there are other things to see and do in other cities though out the region.

    • Hypothetical hotels at CC could also service Oakland airport, so there’d be some usage outside of the NFL season…GO RAIDERS!

      • I think if the airport generated enough demand for those hypothetical hotels, they’d be there now.

  7. Anyhow the purpose of the CC project vote is to officially can the CC project so the A’s and raiders submit their plans and allow the JPA to choose between the two projects

  8. Anyhow the purpose of the CC project vote is to officially can the CC project so the A’s and raiders submit their plans and allow the JPA to choose between the two projects. Also if the SC opts not to hear the SJ vs MLB case, expect the Fremont project to reemerge.

  9. If they built a hotel at CC, I could conceivably see staying there during baseball season. I live in Stockton and have weekend season tickets, often spending the night for a night/day combo.

  10. What does the vote on 3/11 mean exactly? As a Raiders fan who doesn’t live in Oakland is it a good sign?

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