NovoMetro

Education in Oakland

The Old Boy’s Club

Posted by novometro on April 2, 2007

Two people, who claimed they were backing “sensible development” in Temescal, were distributing literature near the DMV farmer’s market Sunday morning. I heard one of them say that they were raising money for legal fees, which presumably would be used to slow down a number of condo projects proposed for Telegraph Avenue between 40th and 51st Streets.

I asked one of the people what their objections to the condos were? I was told that the five-story buildings were “out of scale” with the neighborhood. Traffic is also an issue.  I suspect the latter is the real problem for these people. It would be insane to hinder development along a transportation corridor near a BART station because of aesthetics.

Unlike the Temescal  Farmer’s Market crowd, which is mainly composed of white couples in their 20’s and 30’s with toddlers,  the  people campaigning for “sensible development” (they said they were with some organization called STAND), were a good deal older.

What’s eating these seniors? (The majority of the money used to fund the anti-Oak to Ninth referendum comes from retired people.) Are they afraid that their golden years will be squandered waiting for left turns, and searching fruitlessly for parking in the Walgreen’s parking lot? If so, it’s a short-sighted perspective, and one that leaves an awful legacy for future Oaklanders.

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4 Responses to “The Old Boy’s Club”

  1. Steve R. said

    It’s occurred to me that resistance to development might be generational. It seems like a lot of younger people welcome positive change and moved to transitioning neighborhoods hoping the areas would improve. Hopefully, Telegraph Ave. will be a bustling street one day and I applaud developers patient enough to face the opposition.

  2. Greg B. said

    I’ve never understood what STAND stand for. I think members would self identify as politically left and environmentally green. When it comes to development, however, their ideas — shorter and less dense buildings with more parking — lead us to expensive housing, car-centered cities and sprawl.

    Any building site along the transportation corridors — telegraph, san Pab, MLK, Market, etc. — and especially those within 1/2 mile of BART should be higher (5-6 stories) and have less parking.

    I don’t agree about the connection of golden age and anti-development. I know of plenty of seniors who want more development. They probably know that if we don’t build more units their kids and grandchildren won’t be able to afford to live nearby.

  3. len raphael said

    people under 55 other than bloggers,journalists,developers, city employees and politicians don’t have time to be active in any community activities other than maybe their kids soccer teams or pta’s. so you can’t conclude from the age of the activists on each side of the temescal rezoning battle much of anything.

    eg. at the recent north oakland city budget meeting the average age was probably 68.

    but yes there is a faint echo of old left vs new left to the temescal rezoning participants: with old activists opposing >45 feet buildings and somewhat younger activists supporting high density as an important step in lowering cost of housing while saving the envoirment. older activists (i’m 55) would say worthy goals, but when your ideals get co-opted by developers and the city, the result won’t be what you fought for because the city needs transfer taxes from more condos and the developers need to sell condos to people with cars.

  4. V Smoothe said

    I’m sorry, Len, but I can’t even begin to discern what your last sentence is supposed to mean. Yes, young people support higher density development, particularly along major transit corridors. But you seem to be implying that if a developer is going to make any money off this sort of much-needed development, or if the city allows them to be built, then…well, that’s where you lose me. What exactly is the problem?

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