City Council to consider contract award for Moraga Canyon Specific Plan

Map of the Moraga Canyon area under consideration for development.

From a City of Piedmont press release on July 11:

The City of Piedmont is moving forward with the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan – one of the centerpieces of the 6th Cycle Housing Element. The City Council will consider awarding a contract for the preparation of the Specific Plan to JZMK Partners at their regular meeting on Monday, July 17.

Once a contract is awarded, staff will immediately begin working with the project team on research and site evaluations, with public engagement expected to begin in the fall.

The ultimate result of this process will be the creation of a detailed development plan for the Moraga Canyon area that documents where new housing will be located, how existing uses will be reconfigured, and what infrastructure improvements will be needed.

Specific Plan aims to add new housing while improving safety and enhancing existing uses

This process will study all city-owned land in Moraga Canyon, including Blair Park, Coaches Field, Kennelly Skate Park, and the city’s Corporation Yard, with the end goal of creating a detailed plan for how to:
• incorporate 132 units of new housing, 60 of which would be reserved for lower income households
• maintain and improve existing city facilities, open space, and recreational amenities
• improve bicycle, pedestrian, and traffic safety
• improve wildfire safety

The entire process is expected to take a little over two years. More information is available in the City Council agenda report.

Mayor Jen Cavenaugh, Councilmember Betsy Andersen, and City Clerk John Tulloch give staff members from Assemblymember Buffy Wicks’ office (on left) a tour of Blair Park earlier this year

Public engagement opportunities begin in fall 2023
The process begins with a thorough examination of existing conditions in the area. JZMK Partners, working with city staff, will study all facets of the site, from existing land use to utility locations to topography, soil and drainage to create a comprehensive pictures of opportunities and constraints on the site.

The team will use this information to create a series of development concepts, which will each be evaluated for their economic feasibility and long-term fiscal impact to the city.

Starting this fall, community members will be able to help shape the plan via surveys, public workshops, and neighborhood meetings. Following this initial phase of engagement, community members will have more opportunities to weigh in at a series of presentations and workshops at city commission and council meetings.

Once a preferred concept has been identified, JZMK will then begin creating a detailed site plan, including development standards for future housing and illustrative renderings. Ultimately, this process will produce a comprehensive document that details, with maps and diagrams, all anticipated land uses and necessary infrastructure on the site, standards and criteria for development in the area, and the steps needed to implement the plan, including financing.

Community members can stay informed about progress on the specific plan and future engagement opportunities by subscribing to the Moraga Canyon Specific Plan updates email newsletter.

One thought on “City Council to consider contract award for Moraga Canyon Specific Plan

  1. I thought the rhetoric about approving 582 units was, “they will never be built” we just need to put it on paper for the state of California? Moving forward with “awarding a contract” of presumably millions of dollars to evaluate the building of 132 high density housing units mere months after this proposal was submitted and approved doesn’t sound like it will never be built. It feels very much like a bait and switch.In my world this development MAXES out any and all development in the City of Piedmont for the next couple of decades. You literally cannot start paving over open space and parks and not think you are negatively impacting quality of life for residents in town?

    Please define the rubric for “low income housing” as every city defines it differently within the same county so East Oakland pricing isn’t what Piedmont units will be priced, meaning some developer is going to make an absolute killing on this project as not only a builder but as a landlord.

    Secondly new construction apartment units are not subject to the rent caps imposed on rentals older than 15 years in Oakland, will you be doing the same here or will these units be able to follow the demand in price and suddenly a low income unit is renting for $5000?

    I think we need more transparency on this project.

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