Photo: Joe Parks
Picture of Joel Devalcourt

Joel Devalcourt

Growing Smarter in Oakland’s Broadway Valdez Neighborhood

Last night, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved the Oakland Broadway Valdez District Specific Plan, which calls for 1,800 new homes—many of which will be affordable to low- and middle-income residents—along Oakland’s busiest transit corridor.

Oakland’s Broadway Valdez Specific Plan Highlights

This plan is an important step toward alleviating Oakland’s, and the Bay Area’s, current housing crisis in a way that will stimulate the local economy of the Broadway Valdez neighborhood. Here are some highlights from the plan:

  • Target of having 15% of new homes be affordable to low- and moderate-income households and stronger anti-displacement protections for residents
  • Prioritization of land for new homes, shops, and other community amenities, as opposed to excessive parking
  • Improvements to the streetscape that will make the neighborhood significantly more pedestrian- and bike-friendly
  • Encouragement of quality job creation, including living-wage and green jobs, local hiring, and apprenticeship programs

Our Impact

This win for Oakland almost didn’t happen. Early versions of the plan called for car-centric, big-box retail at the edge of downtown, near two popular BART stations. Greenbelt Alliance and East Bay Housing Organizations spent six years working with the local community, city staff, and our Better Broadway Coalition partners to reshape the plan into one that would revitalize the neighborhood as part of burgeoning downtown Oakland with independent and national retail, affordable homes, better transit options, walkable streets, and sustainable design.

What’s Next

But there is still plenty of work ahead to transform this vision into reality—we need to continue working together to see this plan to fruition. Oakland thrives on the creativity of its residents, and Broadway Valdez is the perfect place to set the trend for how the Bay Area can grow smarter.

Thank you to our Better Broadway Coalition partners and all those involved in the passage of this plan including: East Bay Housing Organizations, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland, Sierra Club, Alameda County Building Trades Council, Valdez Plaza Resident Council, Westlake Christian Terrace Resident Council, California Nurses Association, TransForm, Great Communities Collaborative, Alameda Labor Council, Urban Habitat, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay, and ULTRA Oakland.

We also applaud Councilmembers Lynette Gibson McElhaney and Dan Kalb for their leadership on balanced and inclusive growth by pushing for the protection of residents at risk of displacement.

Photo: Joe Parks

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