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October 2, 2012 To: City of Oakland Planning Commissioners Re: 2255 Telegraph Avenue (CMDV12-171) I am writing to you with concerns

about the proposed demolition and reconstruction of the Taco Bell at 2255 Telegraph Avenue (Item 6 on the October 3, 2012 agenda). While I believe the proposed structure is marginally better than the existing one, I feel issues with the project as currently envisioned outweigh small benefits. In particular, I would like to see the project better address bicycle/pedestrian issues and conformity with zoning.

Bicycle / Pedestrian Issues
1. I am particularly saddened to see the drive-thru lane running parallel to West Grand. In December of 2010, I along with many of my friends and neighbors participated in a crowdfunding campaign to raise over $1,400 to appeal the redevelopment of McDonald’s on Telegraph mainly for this reason. Pedestrians should not have to walk by idling cars waiting for their food. This is a miserable experience and not in all in keeping with the renewed vibrancy of the area. 2. I am concerned about pedestrian & bicyclist safety especially as they round the corner from Telegraph. Fast-Food Finding 3 (page 9) says “Driveway locations and widths and entrances and exits to Fast-Food Facilities shall be subject to the approval of the City Traffic Engineer.” The staff report contains no such approval letter from the City Traffic Engineer. I believe staff considers this unnecessary because the project replaces an existing facility. However, the new project will move the curb cut on West Grand much closer to the corner. In addition, drivers instead of coming straight out onto West Grand will now be making right-hand turn from within the property storing their food and change. This situation creates new potential perils for bicyclists and pedestrians rounding the corner from Telegraph. 3. The project plan does not contain any provision for bike racks.

Zoning Issues
Throughout the staff report there is the assertion that this project conforms to the LUTE and recent zoning. Obviously, lack of conformity is underscored by the need for Major Conditional Use Permit and a Minor Variance. Zoning is a public good. Granting of CUP’s and variances come at a real cost to the public and should be compensated. For

locking in a non-conforming use for the foreseeable future all the public is offered is slightly more comfortable seating and restrooms accessible without going outside. I do not think these small benefits warrant allowing such a low-intensity use on a major corner of an area specifically targeted for intensive development. The current facility has 28 underused parking spaces for a use that requires none, and the proposed project will actually increase the number to 29. Certainly some of this surface parking space could be used to provide a better routing of the drive-thru traffic or increase the size of the structure to provide more public benefit. Thank you for your consideration in this matter,

Daniel Schulman