URGENT NOTICE TO NEIGHBORS
ACTION REQUESTED:Even if you wrote before (or did not), it is important NOW to email or send a letter Supporting the City Council’s upholding the Neighborhood Steering Committee’s (NSC) appeal with its request for Council-ordered changes to the Head-Royce School’s expansion plan use permit
INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO DO IT:Right away, so that the Council and its aides have time to read it, send an email to: Council@oaklandca.gov
Or if you prefer, send a letter to:City Council, City Hall
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
The Neighborhood Steering Committee (NSC) is a grassroots group of neighbors who volunteer their time, skills, and desire to help resolve issues resulting from the operations and activities of Head-Royce School (HRS). We engage with the City of Oakland and HRS to advocate for the neighbors' points of view.
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UPDATES and REMINDERS:
NSC Response to City Staff Report. On September 18, a FINAL response to the Oakland City Planner’s Staff Report was sent to the Council. The response can be accessed here.
Last Chance to Send Emails of Support for NSC Appeal to Oakland City Council. With very little time remaining before the City Council meeting on September 19, please email the City Council at email@example.com to express your support for the NSC’s Appeal of the Oakland Planning Commission's approval to issue a Conditional Use Permit for the HRS expansion project. The NSC urges the City Council to deny approval of the Conditional Use Permit and send the HRS application back to the Planning Department for revision addressing objections put forward by the community and its independent experts, in particular to deny allowing 344 new student enrollments and to address the nonexistence of an adequate and realistic mass evacuation plan for students, faculty and staff.
See here more information on how to contact Oakland City Councilmembers in advance of the September 19 hearing.
Attend City Council Meeting on September 19. If possible, please attend in person the City Council meeting where the Appeal will be decided. Please arrive before 4:00 PM on September 19. The meeting will take place at Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA 94612.
To observe the meeting by video conference (ZOOM), please click on this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84677511593
Sign Up to Be a Speaker at City Council Meeting on September 19.
See here the Agenda for the City Council Meeting on September 19. Note the section of the Agenda that includes the Appeal item is estimated to start at 4 PM.
See home-insurance-wildfires-oakland-hills (oaklandside.org) about growing wildfire risk in the Oakland Hills and the corresponding property insurance increases and denials of coverage. The NSC believes that Head-Royce’s ill-advised expansion plan will exacerbate this problem.
Also view this video to understand what an evacuation from a wildfire in the Oakland Hills was like. CAUTION: the video of this tragic and catastrophic wildfire is disturbing and may not be suitable for all viewers: RAW video Oakland Hills Firestorm (KTVU News, 1991)
In November of 2021, the City of Oakland released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Head-Royce School expansion project and invited public review and comment. The NSC found the report contains numerous inaccuracies, omissions, misinformation, and misrepresentations.
Read the NSC’s response letter to the City of Oakland Planning Department.
Using funds contributed by neighbors, the NSC commissioned third-party experts to review the DEIR and provide comments and perspective on specific areas of great concern regarding the impacts of the proposed development. These expert reports also were provided to the City Planning Department.
To see the whole 548-page DEIR report, which was paid for by Head-Royce School, visit the City of Oakland website.
In February 2023 the City of Oakland Department of Planning and Building issued a Notice of Availability (NOA) releasing the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) on the Head-Royce School expansion project. The NSC found the FEIR dismissed or downplayed most of the comments and analysis submitted by expert peer-reviewers and residents.
Additional expert reports were provided to the City of Oakland Planning Department
As anticipated, on April 19, 2023 the Oakland Planning Department approved the Head-Royce School Final Environmental Impact report without requiring many changes or adequate conditions to the things that most concern the neighborhood, including: additional student headcount and lack of evacuation preparedness; sound mitigations; water runoff management; tree preservation; path of the perimeter Loop Road and proposed additions to traffic lights, turn lanes and crosswalks on Lincoln Avenue; amphitheater (a "Commons") on the South Campus for large outdoor gatherings and classes; location and height of the Performing Arts Center, and other matters. As a result, on behalf of the NSC, several neighbors funded and worked to file an appeal to the City Council in the first week of May.