Important:

Red Flag Warning for parts of the East Bay starting 11PM Tuesday 8/17 night and lasting until Wednesday 8/18 at 3PM.

Regulatory Updates to Protect Industrial Lands and Public Health

Update - 11/23/2021

The Planning Department is in the process of analyzing community feedback and have paused the project for the time being while the General Plan Update gets underway. We will be following up with all stakeholders in the next few weeks with a more definitive plan for next steps.

We have compiled a summary of the community feedback received thus far, for stakeholders to review.

Overview of Proposal

The proposed planning code amendments below aim to address two issues:

  1. Increasing market pressures to convert industrial land into residential and commercial land uses.
  2. Proximity of some industrial lands, truck routes and rail lines to residential dwellings, particularly in the communities of West and East Oakland, that contribute to disparities in health outcomes for residents of these communities, in particular for people of color.

To address the first issue, the City has proposed a Port Prime Lands Overlay and updates to the Planning Code to restrict conflicting land uses in industrial zones as near-term strategies to strengthen industrial land protections until a comprehensive industrial lands policy is developed as part of the General Plan update process.

To address the second issue, the City has proposed Planning Code Amendments to reduce emissions exposure as a near-term strategy before the General Plan Environmental Justice Element is prepared.

Together, these regulatory changes work to help promote harmony between the industrial economy and people’s health.

Proposal to Strengthen Industrial Land Protections

Cargo Ship at Port of Oakland
Cargo Ship at Port of Oakland

The Port Prime Lands Overlay reinforces the importance of the Port of Oakland's seaport and airport to our local and regional economy by protecting these industrial lands in perpetuity. This proposal is a precursor to the development of a long-term industrial lands policy that the Planning and Building Department will pursue as part of the first stage of the General Plan Amendment in 2023. The associated Planning Code amendments to prohibit conflicting land uses in heavy impact industrial zones will protect these areas citywide from market pressure to become more commercial in nature.

The Overlay and Planning Code Amendments will:

  1. Establish the importance of industrial land and set the tone for future General Plan policy work;​
  2. Maintain seaport and airport infrastructure through Port Prime Lands Overlay; and​
  3. Minimize land use conflicts by restricting incompatible uses (e.g. schools, live/work units, childcare facilities, etc.) in heavy impact industrial zones.

The following map shows the extent of the Port Prime Lands Overlay and the industrial zones that will be strengthened throughout the City.

Proposal to Reduce Emissions Exposure

Industrial lands are a vital contributor to the economic health of the region; however, the close proximity of some industrial lands, truck routes and rail lines to residential dwellings, particularly in the communities of West and East Oakland contribute to disparities in health outcomes for residents of these communities, in particular for people of color. In response, the Planning & Building Department, as part of implementation of the AB 617 West Oakland Community Action Plan (WOCAP), are proposing Planning Code amendments to reduce emissions exposure.

The key features of the Planning Code Amendments will be to:

  1. Update termination timeframe for conditional use permits (CUPs) and Nonconforming Uses
  2. Require CUP for some heavy industrial uses w/in 500 ft. of residential ​
  3. ​Add new requirements for emissions information and actions to reduce impacts of heavy industrial uses w/in 500 ft. of residential

*NEW* Industrial Lands Interactive Map

Please reference this guide to using Interactive Map for the proposed planning code amendments.

*NEW* Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have received questions asking for more details on certain elements of the proposal and have compiled them in a FAQ,

*NEW* Industrial Lands Study

The Industrial Lands Study, prepared by the City's Economic and Workforce Development Department, provides baseline information and analysis on Oakland’s industrial land and business assets. This study is intended to inform policy options and strategies to help retain, support, and grow a mix of industrial business activities in Oakland.

Contact Us

Alicia Parker, Planner IV​, aparker@oaklandca.gov

​Khalilha Haynes, Planner II​, khaynes@oaklandca.gov

​Laura Kaminski, Strategic Planning Manager, lkaminski@oaklandca.gov