Letter to the Editor: Oak Knoll Going Forward

Thank you, Oakland Conduit, for bringing important issues to the residents of our city!

I am very concerned about the report of the Oak Knoll project moving forward. 

Aside from the fact that only six percent of new housing units in Oakland are targeted to assist low-income individuals or families, there are so many issues of concern with this development that will impact the existing neighborhoods as well as people traveling I-580 from afar just to get to work because they cannot afford to live here. 

I am not a NIMBY; I just want to see carefully thought-out, reasonable and diversified housing development in Oakland.  

I am dismayed that this new development is apparently moving forward with the blessings of the City of Oakland. This project will do nothing to address the extreme prices of housing, or mitigate the housing costs for moderate to very low-income families or individuals. 

Reports claim the new development homes will be wooden structures. If true, this will add to the risk of death by fire in East Oakland. This hilly/mountainous terrain is a first responder’s worst nightmare. Additionally, there are no apparent coherent plans for basic infrastructure such as movement of traffic, traffic signals, a fire station, an OPD sub-station; no plans for basic necessities such as healthful grocery options, pharmacies, etc.

The reports I have read mention money from the developer to re-stripe or re-paint traffic lanes. How will that help? The newcomers who will be moving in have no idea as to what happens when development meets up with the edge of wildlife, and they will be in shock when a coyote takes away a precious pet because the native predators' hunting territory has been encroached upon.

There are so many vacant lots and other areas of Oakland, closer to services, that are just lying dormant or in decay. Why not utilize existing properties that are closer to bus lines, stores, etc. to build new housing? 

Respectfully, and in protest of Oakland Knoll Development,

Laurel Sillins, 
East Oakland resident