image courtesy "Friends of Knowland Park"

On April 20th at 6:00pm, the Oakland Planning Commission will decide whether or not to recommend amendments to the 1998 Oakland Zoo Master Plan to the City Council.  These amendments include a gondola system connecting the existing zoo area to the proposed “California Exhibit,” a new veterinary medical hospital, and an overnight camping area.

This proposed project will directly impact the EBCNPS’s Knowland Park BPPA in the southern Oakland foothills, which includes Valley Needlegrass Grassland, Oak Woodlands, and CEQA protected Bristly Leptosiphon (Leptosiphon acicularis).  The latter of which is slated to have the new wolf enclosure built on it, resulting in certain loss of the population.  Along with the biological impacts, the proposed project will severely impact the public access open space of Knowland Park where currently, anyone can enjoy native stands of California grassland without paying an entrance fee.  Considering these impacts, the EBCNPS is recommending that a full EIR examining the impacts to this sensitive area be carried out.  The Mitigated Negative Declaration being considered relates to an amendment to an outdated master plan created in 1998 and considering the impacts this project will have, is not acceptable or legal under CEQA.  Attached is EBCNPS’s letter to the Planning Commission regarding our stance on this project.  We look forward to attending and once again voicing our concerns which as of yet have not been addressed by the project planners.  We welcome anyone who would like to show support to attend.

EBCNPS’s response letter for proposed amendment to the Oakland Zoo Master Plan

Meeting time & date:  April 20,  6:00 pm at the Council Chambers,  City Hall,  One Frank H. Ogawa Plaza,  Oakland, CA