ALAMEDA -- The City Council will consider rezoning the neighborhood around north Park Street on Tuesday, an area that historically has been an auto row and helps link downtown with Oakland and Interstate 880.
Among the goals of the zoning changes is to promote "pedestrian-oriented design" as the retail strip near the Park Street Bridge is redeveloped, according to city officials. But the goal also is to maintain nearby residential neighborhoods and to help guide changes around Clement Avenue and Oak Street, where crews recently demolished long-blighted warehouses and where property owner Francis Collins aims to build housing.
The proposal before the council calls for the area bordered by the Oakland-Alameda Estuary, Lincoln Avenue, Times Way and Oak Street to be rezoned into five districts. Among the districts is one for maritime manufacturing along the Estuary and another for mixed uses that would serve as a buffer between nearby homes and businesses. The current zoning includes areas for industrial, commercial and automobile uses.
"The north Park Street area represents an important economic development opportunity for Alameda and a wonderful opportunity to recreate a transit-oriented, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environment along Park Street at the gateway to Alameda," City Planner Andrew Thomas said in a statement.
The effort to change the neighborhood's zoning and create new development rules began in 2007, when city officials began working with the Park Street Business Association and others to create a "Gateway District Strategic Plan." It was an attempt to jump-start revitalization as auto dealerships began to close.
The new codes emphasize building design in a bid to maintain the neighborhood's character and serve as guides for developers and property owners, Thomas said.
Among the projects that will fall under the new "Gateway District" is the proposed CVS store in the 1600 block of Park Street, where work is under way to construct two buildings next to the Marketplace. A Good Chevrolet dealership once stood on the site.
In January, the Planning Board unanimously recommended the council amend the city's municipal code to include the draft zoning changes, as well as amend the City Design Manual to include new draft design guidelines and to certify a final environmental impact report.
Robb Ratto, executive director of the Park Street Business Association, said he expects the new rules will help investors wishing to redevelop the area. If the council approves the changes, a second reading will take place April 2 for final adoption, and the rezoning would take effect 30 days later.
Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.
The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.