introduction | terminology | background | summary


The purpose of Live/Work in Plain English is to make it plainly clear that the City of Oakland is committed to encouraging and accepting the continuation of its distinguished history of achievement in the creation of spaces which can contain both residence and place of vocation. There are opportunities in Oakland for the creation of all types of live/work, each suited to a different way of life and work. Live/Work in Plain English describes each of the types and suggests an appropriate setting and location for each.

The impetus for the creation of Live/Work in Plain English was threefold:

  1. The 1999 Oakland Live/Work Building Code, while very complete, is complex. Live/Work in Plain English strives to make this complex document user-friendly for any designer, developer, or builder thinking about creating live/work space in Oakland.

  2. The emergence of live/work as an important urban building type with great potential for Oakland, and the introduction of a new type --unique to Oakland-- called the Urban Core Residential Conversion (UCRC) calls out for a guide to the overall development process here. Oakland welcomes live/work in all its forms and will strive to locate the right type in the right place. Those who choose to develop live/work in Oakland will find a wealth of assistance from the city (and herein) for the creation of appropriate live/work communities.

  3. Finally, this guide is written in response to the adoption of a new General Plan in Oakland and the anticipated expansion of the treatment of live/work in New Zoning Regulations. It has been a specific aim of Mayor Jerry Brown that 10,000 new residents be accommodated in downtown Oakland by 2002, and he considers live/work an important component of this "10K" strategy.

We begin with the basics: What are the different types of live/work, and how do they differ? In which area is each type is most appropriate? We also include a detailed glossary of terms used in the code and on this website. And, of course, we provide a section by section explanation of the 1999 Live/Work Building Code, In Plain English.

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