GLN Minutes: 1Q 2016

January Attendance: 13 neighbors, 4 OPD (Rojas, Bui, Ransom, Mangal), 1 City staff
February Attendance: about 25 neighbors and city staff
March Attendance: 14 neighbors, 3 OPD, 1 City staff

January 2016

  1. Crime
    • On a year to year basis, crime is down about 13% in Oakland. There are more officers on the street (about 755 now), “hot” times and locations are more carefully identified & patrolled, bike patrols have been added, recent key arrests have been made. The Grand Avenue corridor is a hot location, and neighbors & visitors should continue to be reminded to never leave any valuables in their autos.
    • A concern was brought up about recent solicitors in Crocker Highlands, and that it is hard to know whether they are legitimate or just casing houses. A similar concern was raised about package deliveries, and getting delivery companies to place packages in places that are hard to see from the street. Attendees were encouraged to get involved in neighborhood watch groups.
  2. AirBnB Issues
    • There are about 1400 AirBnB (and similar) locations in Oakland. Districts 1 & 2 have a majority of them. Neighbors are especially concerned about the house at 1001 Winsor, which seems to be rented most of the time. The City is considering how to better regulate these locations, including looking at building inspections and zoning compliance. AirBnB has been contacted about the problems at this location, but has not been responsive to date. Rebecca Kaplan has also been contacted, but has not responded to date. Neighbors are encouraged to call OPD when there are obvious violations such as autos blocking driveways, excessive noise.
  3. In Law Unit regulations
    • There is a state law that requires cities to look at ways to allow more ‘in-law’ units to be built on single family residence properties. Along with those changes, the intersection of Lakeshore and Lake Park has been designated as a ‘transit hub,’ meaning that off street parking regulations (the # of spaces that have to be provided within 1/2 mile) are reduced.
    • The primary objectives of these new regulations are to allow for more affordable aging in place, children returning to households, and generally just more affordable housing.
    • Another concern about these regulations is that owner occupancy requirements are being changed so that a primary owner no longer has to occupy either the primary residence or the in law unit. Neighbors have major concerns about both the off street parking and the owner occupancy changes, and are encouraged to contact their Councilperson.
  4. 911 Calls on cell phones
    • Neighbors continue to press the City to move toward providing direct 911 calling from cell phones (rather than having to dial 777-3211). The City is planning to test ‘911 texting’ soon, and that may help as well.
  5. NCPC Funding
    • The City has restored the $700/year stipend for each NCPC. Ideas for spending include public cameras, signs to warn people about auto break-ins, more trees, community outreach, and a neighborhood picnic or party.

February 2016

Although minutes were not produced for this meeting, the topic was solely about issues concerning how to properly regulate in-law units. Neighbors especially expressed concern over reduced requirements for off street parking, and relaxing the regulation having to do with one unit needing to be occupied by an owner. Interesting discussion of this issue can be found on Nextdoor at:


March 2016

  1. Crime
    • YTD statistics for 1/1/16 – 2/28/16 as compared to the same period in 2015 are encouraging.
      These are from Officer Bui, city-wide 2016 numbers listed first, then 2015:
      murder: 16/5;
      assault: 57/40;
      robberies: 577/471;
      robberies w/firearm: 263/209,
      robberies strong-arm: 228/209;
      auto burglaries: 1341/617;
      residential burglaries: 460/309.
    • There are now about 770 OPD officers, specialized units are better staffed now, and the ceasefire program continues to be influential in a positive way. Traffic enforcement is also expanding, and staffing walking/biking officers will continue to be a priority.
    • Auto burglaries continue to be the biggest problem in our neighborhood, especially on the Grand Avenue side.
    • We are hoping to see more detailed statistics about the area parking lots soon, and will invite Michael Ford to a future meeting to discuss that and other related projects.
    • Changes have been made to the OPD web pages that describe and provide entrance to the OPD crime reporting tool. Changes to the tool itself are being negotiated with the vendor, CopLogic.
  2. District 2 meeting/Eastlake Music festival

    • Steve Ma is working to organize a district 2 meeting in May and we will support that effort (it was subsequently canceled). Steve is also organizing the Eastlake Music Festival again, which will be held Memorial Day weekend.
  3. Kristin Thompson

    • Kristin is opening up a vegetarian/vegan/paraben/cruelty-free makeup business in the neighborhood and we welcome her to the area.
  4. In law units

    • The neighbors reiterated our concern about the owner occupancy issues as they relate to the permitting of new in-law units. We feel it is very important to keep the requirement that an owner live in either the primary residence or the in-law unit.
  5. Elections
    • There will be an election at the April meeting to vote on co-chairs for the next two years: David Flack and Eric Hughes.