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The Plan Area is generally a one-half mile radius around the Lake Merritt BART Station, which encompasses Chinatown, Laney College, civic buildings of Alameda County and Oakland and the channel connecting Lake Merritt to the estuary. Many diverse residents, businesses and students make up the community of this area, and Chinatown functions as a citywide center for the Asian community.
Some of the key objectives of the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan include:
- Increase use of non-automobile modes of transportation, including walking, bicycling, bus, BART, carpooling, ridesharing and other options; and reduce auto use.
- Increase the housing supply, particularly near the BART stations.
- Increase jobs and improve access to jobs along the transit corridor.
- Provide services and retail options in the station area.
- Identify additional recreation and open space opportunities.
- Support the cultural and demographic diversity of existing businesses and residents.
Finally, the Lake Merritt Station Area Plan provides an impetus and streamlining for real development projects and specific public improvements.
Community-Based Planning Process
The Lake Merritt Station Area Plan was developed in collaboration with the City of Oakland, BART, the Peralta Community College District and other community stakeholders. Stakeholders were involved at all stages of the process, from the initial visioning and exploration of plan concepts to the refinement of a Station Area Plan. The Landmarks Advisory Board, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, and the Oakland Planning Commission reviewed the Station Area Plan, as well as the boards of the Peralta Community College District and BART. The Oakland City Council was the body responsible for final review and approval of the Plan, as well as the accompanying Environmental Impact Report.