External Forces and Oakley’s Future
The Oakley Master Plan Kick-Off Meeting on November 14 was certainly useful in identifying diverse perspectives on three topics:
1. Community asset areas
2. Areas avoided (blight, crime, etc)
3. Development opportunity areas
However, I feel that many of Oakley's most significant challenges were likely not identified due to the limited scope of the three questions. For example, the character of Oakley is being increasingly influenced by external forces of regional markets and regional traffic and any plan for this neighborhood must address the incremental and cumulative impacts of these forces. Oakley’s plan should also address many other challenges that may be more policy-oriented rather than the place-specific ideas presented by dots on maps at the kick-off meeting. Some examples of challenges requiring study and policy development are listed below.
Significant Challenges in Oakley:
1. Oakley's single family residential area is incrementally shrinking.
2. The density of redevelopment is increasing but without adequate parking and without adequate frontage landscaping scale and mass.
3. Single family properties are being redeveloped into multi-family with excessive scale, mass, ISR, and garage dominated facades that change the character of our neighborhood.
4. The current and proposed zoning and land development code enables incompatible redevelopment in single family neighborhoods.
5. Residential streets are being used for NBD parking.
6. Residential streets will likely be used for FCC parking.
7. Accessibility and road widenings and external market forces may continue changing our NBD retail and services from local orientation to a regional orientation—changing the neighborhood character (the suburbanization or Fields-Ertel-ization of Oakley).
8. Road congestion will likely increase in am/pm rush hours.
9. Road congestion will likely worsen with simultaneous large events (e.g. Crossroads Church and FCC stadium).
10. Road widenings may be needed on local streets to accommodate increases in regional traffic—affecting community character and safety.
11. Oakley’s unusual development opportunities (due to demise of industrial sites) need to be balanced with our neighborhood’s lack of alternative circulation (and dead-end streets) due to large development sites (golf course, shopping centers, multifamily developments) as well as the barriers and limited places to cross the expressway and railroad that bisects Oakley.
12. Our aging housing stock (75 years+) will increasingly be subject to blight and redevelopment resulting in changes in neighborhood character.
13. The FCC site may be designed as a destination stadium (with quick entrance and exit) and therefor bypass any benefits that could accrue to the NBD.
14. The FCC site may be designed as an integral part of Oakley and the NBD, but create adverse affects on adjacent single family neighborhoods and streets.