The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to place a temporary moratorium on unattended donation boxes placed on city streets.

The boxes, which are used to collect unwanted clothes and other items, had been popping up more frequently in Oakland. Several residents said boxes near their homes had become magnets for the illegal dumping of trash.

The moratorium comes as the city is considering measures to regulate the bins.

Also, Tuesday, the council passed new rent control rules that had been agreed to earlier in the year. The new law limits annual rent hikes to no more than 10 percent except in years of extreme inflation and prohibits landlords from passing through to tenants the full cost of building improvements. The new law will take effect 90 days after the council approves it a second time in May. Also, later this year, the council is scheduled to consider approving clearer definitions as to the type of building improvement costs eligible to be passed on to tenants.

Police team up with Nextdoor

The Oakland Police Department will soon be posting news and crime alerts to Nextdoor, a social network for neighbors.

Department leaders announced the partnership Friday, saying they hoped it would help fight crime and strengthen neighborhood watch efforts.

Already, residents can sign up for police alerts on Nixle, and several police officers provide crime updates on Twitter.

San Leandro zoning to allow pot club

The San Leandro council approved a single medical marijuana dispensary in the city last year, and now it is taking steps so that one can open.


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The City Council revised San Leandro's zoning rules Monday to include wording that allows a single dispensary, subject to a conditional use permit and with restrictions. The club cannot be within 1,000 feet of residences, parks and recreation facilities, schools and youth centers.

The council also agreed to hire a consultant to help staff members with the application process.

Both measures passed, with Councilman Benny Lee voting no on both. "I spoke to many folks on this, and overwhelmingly they oppose it," he said. Councilwoman Diana Souza recused herself.

Fremont gets award for development plan

The city has received a regional honor for its plans to develop a 110-acre area anchored by City Hall and Fremont's BART station.

The Association of Bay Area Governments gave Fremont the award for implementing its proposal to develop an environmentally sustainable community in the Central-Downtown neighborhood.

The regional agency praised Fremont for:

  • Starting a monthly series featuring performing artists.

  • Developing more housing, such as the 300-unit Paragon Apartments project on Beacon Avenue and State Street.

  • Receiving a $5.8 million grant for extending Capitol Avenue from State Street to Fremont Boulevard to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

    City leaders said Fremont also earned the award because of its attempts to create a compact, healthy community with a diversity of housing, jobs, activities and services meeting the daily needs of residents.