Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shattuck Avenue--the City of Oakland Maintains Blight

The purpose of the City of Oakland's Blight Ordinance is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens by requiring a level of maintenance of residential, commercial, and industrial property which will protect and preserve the livability, appearance, and social and economic stability of the city and which will also protect the public from the health and safety hazards and the impairment of property values which results from the neglect and deterioration of property. (Ord. 12046 § 1, 1998: prior code § 15-1.01)

Shattuck Avenue, between Woolsey Avenue and 60th Street in North Oakland has a large number of potholes and cracked surfaces in violation of the City's Blight Ordinance. When driving down Shattuck Avenue it feels like a third world country with pothole, after pothole, after pothole. Why does the City of Oakland feel that it is exempted from its own Blight Ordinance and is allowed to maintain many of our streets in conditions that are unsafe and contribute to the appearance of blight? According to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the City of Oakland has some of the worst street conditions among all communities in the nine Bay Area Counties (99 out of 107). We think this is completely unacceptable.

The following request was sent on January 4, 2009 to the City of Oakland Code Enforcement Officer:

Shattuck Avenue, between Woolsey Avenue and 60th Street in North Oakland has a large number of potholes and cracked surfaces in violation of the City's Blight Ordinance. In part, the City's Blight Ordinance defines blight as parking lots, driveways, paths, and other areas used or intended to be used for commercial and industrial business activities including, but not limited to, selling, manufacturing, processing, packaging, fabricating, treating, dismantling, processing, transferring, handling, transporting, storing, compounding, or assembling which are inadequately maintained and pose a risk of harm to public health or safety including, but not limited to, unpaved surfaces which generate fugitive dust and paved surfaces with cracks, potholes, or other breaks. Shattuck Avenue is a paved surface with cracks, potholes and other breaks and it is used for commercial and industrial purposes--transporting goods and people. We are requesting that the Code Enforcement staff open a complaint against the Public Works Department and enforce the City Blight Ordinance. The potholes, cracks, and other breaks on Shattuck Avenue create a public safety issue and contribute to the appearance of blight in North Oakland.

We do not think that the City of Oakland Code Enforcement has the chutzpah to actually enforce the Blight Ordinance against a sister department. However, we are willing to push this issue because we believe that it is vital to the economic prosperity of the City. Well maintained streets are a signal to the business community and residents that Oakland cares and is willing to invest in its infrastructure and support the efficient distribution and transportation of goods and people.

2 comments:

einar said...

I completely agree. Right next my property at 6225 Shattuck Ave there is a broken down van, drug dealing, car engine on the side walk, broken windows and people living without water. A real eye-soar for the community!

Fight Blight said...

einar,

We sympathize with you. Having a blighted property near your home can be very disrupting and unpleasant. In your case, I would strongly suggest that you contact Rich Fielding, Supervising Code Enforcement Officer, at 510-238-6202 or rfielding@oaklandnet.com. He should be able to provide you with some assistance or give you a status update on any existing code enforcement or blight issues. We are not aware of any outstanding blight complaints for 6225 Shattuck Avenue from the We Fight Blight Team.