Although neighbors experience a variety of issues related to Head-Royce on a day-to-day basis, the NSC’s efforts become more focused when the school applies for changes to a Major Conditional Use Permit for major projects such as adding a new gymnasium or making other large changes to the school property.
Use Permit. Efforts by the neighborhood group led to a school parking plan, with Head-Royce paying for residential parking permits for Whittle Ave and Tiffin Rd neighbors and for a “school policy limiting the number of drivers who drive to school.”
This was in response to many years of parking problems caused by teachers, staff, vendors, visitors, and students. To ameliorate traffic and congestion caused by use of the school’s back entrance on Whittle Ave, HRS was required to construct a gate “with restricted access” to the Whittle rear entrance.
Use Permit. Neighbor representatives referenced still-unresolved problems going back many years: parking and traffic, future use of school-owned residential properties, hours of operation, drop-offs and pickups of students by parents near the school, noise from loud school bells and school enrollment consistently over Use Permit guidelines. Our voices led to some subsequent, but not long lasting, improvements.
Neighborhood resistance caused Head-Royce to abandon plans, never previously discussed with neighbors, to expand a playground on school property onto a section of their residential properties at 4200 and 4220 Whittle Ave.
Negative neighborhood reaction reversed Head-Royce’s plans, which had not been shared with neighbors, to use part of the residential properties owned by HRS at 4200 and 4220 Whittle Ave for a 35-car parking lot.
Use Permit. NSC involvement in numerous meetings and City Hall sessions resulted in conditions for HRS traffic, the Lincoln Avenue queue at the beginning and end of school days, drop-offs and pickups, school hours, Special Events, the summer program, leasing of school property, student enrollment, noise levels, parking, school-owned properties, deliveries, fire protection and prevention.
Fire Danger. Despite months of communications from the NSC to Head-Royce about the extreme fire dangers on the Head-Royce properties, and despite three out-of-compliance notifications from the Oakland Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division, the fire dangers on Head-Royce’s properties continued until early November 2017. When a serious grass fire in Oakland was followed by the devastating firestorm in the North Bay, the NSC felt it had to notify neighbors, other Oakland residents, City of Oakland officials, and the Head-Royce Board of Trustees of the frightening fire dangers on Head-Royce’s property.
Link to fire safety concerns. >>