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Downtown Oakland Zoning Code

PlaceWorks is working with the City of Oakland on developing comprehensive General Plan and Planning Code Amendments to implement the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan and Incentive Program.



City of Oakland


Oakland, California


  • Zoning & Form-Based Codes
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Urban Design
  • GIS Analysis & Mapping

PlaceWorks is amending the City Planning Code to account for 3 refined and 9 additional “central business districts” (CBD) in downtown. These amendments include new allowable uses, such as customer-oriented artisan production designed to support arts, waterfront commerce, and historical produce market areas. We are also amending all permitted and conditionally permitted activities and facilities and all development standards across the 12 CBDs.

We are refining new height, density, bulk, and tower regulations for 7 revised “intensity areas” in the downtown area. Our code amendment strategy considers and supports a development incentives program for the downtown. Under the program, any increase in development in key “incentive subzones” to the “incentive density” in the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan is only permitted if developers engage in the voluntary incentive program, which requires payment of fees and/or provision of benefits of equal value on the site.