Club Knoll is an historic 1924 mission style building on the site that originally served as the club house for the Oak Knoll Golf Course. It was later converted into a Navy Officer’s Club as part of the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital facility. For years the Coalition advocated for restoration and reuse of the building as a community center.
Unfortunately, decades of vandalism and neglect resulted in considerable damage to Club Knoll. Restoration costs would now be significant, and the City of Oakland has been unwilling to assume responsibility for maintaining any public amenities at the site, including Club Knoll.
The Oak Knoll Coalition now reluctantly supports the development of a centrally located community center as an alternative to restoring Club Knoll, with the following conditions:
- Architectural guidelines for the new community center must be influenced by the original Club Knoll design.
- Where possible, architecturally valuable elements, such as the interior wood trusses, should be salvaged from Club Knoll and utilized in the new community center.
- The community center should be made available to the surrounding community for meetings and community functions at rates comparable to nearby venues.
Reasonable Housing Density
Original base reuse plans called for up to 600 housing units at the site. For example, the 1998 "Maximum Capacity Plan" called for 584 homes and 87 acres of open space.
By 2007, the SunCal development plan significantly raised the total number of housing units, including single-family homes as well as a large number of townhomes and an apartment building. Neighbors objected to the density increase and strongly opposed grading the knoll and ridge for upscale homes.
In 2015 SunCal reduced the total number of units from 960 to 935 and removed housing from the knoll.
The Coalition will continue to advocate for reasonable housing density that includes preservation of the knoll and creek corridor as open space.
Oakland has a strong tree preservation ordinance for coast live oaks and mature trees of other species. Oak Knoll has multiple outstanding examples of individual trees and woodlands that should be preserved.
The Coalition strongly supports preservation of protected trees, especially the northeast oak woodlands.
Acquisition of 15-Acre Property
The Coalition strongly advocates adding a privately-owned 15-acre parcel to the Oak Knoll development. Originally part of the base, this parcel along the southern boundary was sold prior to base closure. It contains ecologically valuable oak woodland and an intermittent creek.
As a preserved greenbelt, this area would provide high added value to the new residential community. As preserved parkland, it would be an excellent corridor for a trail between open space at the knoll and the Rifle Range Creek corridor.
By 2015, SunCal incorporated 12.8 of the 15 acres as open space in its new plan.