I was forwarded a letter this afternoon that was sent to the Oakley City Council and City Manager. It appears to be a joint letter from multiple Oakley Businesses who want to see improvement from the City of Oakley regarding the Oakley Plaza planning.
In reading the letter, they have a point. But their opposition to how the project is being completed should have come months ago as construction is done with precise timing and planning. Having said that, I would hope the city would issue a formal response and fixes this mess. I am all for the construction and improving downtown, but you have to take into consideration our local business and work with them. The city could have been proactive in advance in educating business on the construction and the impacts it would have–such as entrances being closed.
I won’t get into the “he said, she said” debate, but I will say this. The City needs to do better and do so with urgency.
Here is a copy of the letter which is dated February 1, 2013
Shop Oakley First
An Open Letter to the Oakley City Council and the City Manager
We are writing to express our concern and frustrations regarding the current construction in the Oakley Plaza shopping center. It seems that the planning of the parking lot construction did not take into account the severe negative affect it would have on the businesses in the plaza.
Any time that work on the parking lot has been done in the past, it was done in stages, so that the entire parking lot was not closed at one time. The closing of the last remaining main entrance to Oakley Plaza has been a nightmare for customers, law enforcement and of course, we as business owners trying to survive a down economy. Now we also must attempt to survive this construction project.
The last main entrance should never have been closed until one or both of the entrances from Main St. were re-opened. According to the city, all paving will be done at the same time. We urge you to reconsider and have the paving done in stages and one of the entrances from Main Street opened until the Vintage entrance is reopened.
On the first day of the closure of the main Vintage Parkway entrance, we observed two Oakley police cars responding to an emergency call in the Oakley Plaza. The cars exited the Police Department, crossed Main Street on to Vintage Parkway and then proceeded to what they thought was still the main entrance. Upon realizing that the entrance was barricaded, they made U-turns in the middle of Vintage, and then had to navigate to the opposite lane to enter behind Carpaccio’s, where, again to their surprise, a Sysco food delivery big rig was blocking half of the entrance. The difficulty our own police officers have entering the Plaza proves the difficulty our customers have entering the Plaza.
Since the construction began, the city has not maintained the Oakley Plaza in a manner to be inviting to customers. The sidewalks have an abundance of dirt caused by the construction. Windows are broken and not repaired. The newly installed garbage cans are filthy and never properly closed. Overhead outdoor lights have not been replaced. There is no key to the utility room or the rooftop access ladder (fire department violations). The back lot is once again overgrown. In fact, one of the city inspectors this week told a tenant that he should clean up his own mess – meaning the filth caused by the ongoing construction. And this was after he left several messages with the project manager requesting that the sidewalk be cleaned as it was filthy and becoming a safety hazard.
We are respectfully requesting that:
- At least one of the entrances from Main Street be reopened while the Vintage entrance is closed.
- The necessary repairs be made as noted above.
- The sidewalk, windows and garbage cans be cleaned at least weekly during the remaining construction period to make a more inviting presence and avoid further damage to indoor flooring, carpet and merchandise.
The above will not completely repair the financial damage that this project has caused us, but it will help prevent future losses. If the City of Oakley is going to continue to promote its “Shop Oakley First” campaign, then they should start by maintaining the shopping area right across the street from city hall so that our customers can do just that.
Silver River Restaurant
Hook, Line & Sinker
Center Barber Shop
Nail Tek II