Our Accomplishments, Your Benefits


Why do we exist?

An incorporated association representing 1100+  properties has much more effect on the city planning process than any individual can possibly bring to bear.  Its size also makes investment in legal expenses more feasible than if individuals acted alone.

After reviewing this brief snapshot, we hope you’ll agree that your membership dues are an unbeatable bargain.  If you’re not a current member*, join today. 

* You're a member if you've paid dues in the current calendar year.

Historical perspective

When Piedmont Pines Club was formed in 1941, it operated with two primary goals: To get neighbors acquainted and to provide an avenue for members to express themselves about community problems. There were business meetings, social events and action committees. Action committees stayed busy with building restrictions, streets, transportation and construction of new schools. There was even a Plans Approval Committee that reviewed every new house, concentrating on two questions: Is the builder doing a good job for the buyer? Is the house in keeping with its surroundings? Such authority is no longer legal, but it served to make Piedmont Pines the special place it is today.

In 2004, we changed our name from Piedmont Pines Club, Inc., to Piedmont Pines Neighborhood Association and reincorporated as a nonprofit PUBLIC BENEFIT CORPORATION, 501 (c)4.

Major accomplishments span 5 decades


Utility Undergrounding24-year Wait Pays Off

At long last, construction of Phase 1 (Ascot corridor) began in October 2011.  For a recap of our beleaguered history on this project, visit our Undergrounding section


Montclair Organized Neighborhoods (MONs):  Prepare for Emergencies, Prevent Crime, Know One Another

In partnership with Montclair Safety and Improvement Council, Piedmont Pines set a very aggressive goal in 2004 to organize 100% of its neighborhoods into what are now 27 MONs (Montclair Organized Neighborhoods), each with roughly 40 homes, a block captain, roster, schedule for training on crime prevention, emergency preparedness—and, of course, socializing.  Neighbors who know one another (a challenge in these busy times) do more to protect one another than any band of city agencies can ever do.  See our MON page to see what MON you're in, and the benefits and resources available to MONs.


Cell Tower Oversight:  Our Push for Master Planning

PPNA grew concerned with the number of cell tower installation applications and the City’s lack of a comprehensive plan, lack of a clear system for reviewing applications, the inadequate process of notifying affected residents, and the cumbersome and expensive appeals process.  We successfully battled two installations and gained agreement that the City needs to develop a cellular installation master plan for Oakland. We work closely with cell providers and city planners to create a balance between aesthetics and signal coverage within our borders.


Safer Walking Paths 

PPNA helped the City raise private funds for the construction of a safer pathway from Joaquin Miller and Montera Schools to Montclair Village. The new path replaced a dirt pathway that was rutty and muddy during the rainy season.  The new path opened in 2010.

Preserving and Beautifying our Open Spaces

  • Sulphur Springs & Painted Rocks (Marj Saunders Park): Beautification of our Welcome Mat
The association has prevented development and deterioration of Sulphur Springs at Ascot and Chelton and has advocated in favor of our neighborhood "newspaper,” the Painted Rocks. Each year, in conjunction with Earth Day in April and Creek to Bay Day in September, the association sets aside a weeding and clean-up day for that area in order to keep the welcome mat into Piedmont Pines pristine. In 2004, the park was dedicated and renamed, Marj Saunders Park. Monthly volunteer clean-up crews now tend this lovely spot.

  • Beaconsfield Canyon (1987)

The association convinced the City to buy the property that surrounds the Painted Rocks thus defeating a 16-home development. The land remains as open space, with volunteers working monthly to restore the native habitat.

  • Castle Canyon (2006)

The land bordered by Castle Drive on the east and Mastlands Drive/Larry Lane on the west was at one time 30 acres threatened by a huge development.  Two neighbors each purchased 10 acre portions, leaving the last 10 acres open to development.  In 1999, the developer proposed 17 homes.  The association went into high gear, gathering environmentalists, slope engineers and attorneys to fight what would have been a very dangerous development.  In 2006, we emerged triumphant with the City agreeing to purchase 8 acres open space, which included all but 4 lots— two at the top of the canyon and two on the southern side near Castle Park Way.  Thanks to Measure K funds, the 8 acres are now part of Joaquin Miller Park.  The Joaquin Miller study group assessed the area in great detail and determined it should be left as wild, open space after considering such options as basketball courts, tot lots and picnic areas.

  • City-owned Land on Skyline Boulevard
The association has protected City-owned lots along Skyline Boulevard from sale and development for several decades. 

 

Communication and infrastructure: Keeping one another informed

1999: We created the beginning of an e-mail network which has now grown to over 1000 addresses, enabling us to communicate electronically with most of our members about upcoming events, crime waves, association business, Montclair-wide issues.  Our budget would not accommodate communication at this frequency using snail mail. 

2002: Our website was born.

2005: We seriously upgraded our Annual Meetings and moved them to Chabot Space and Science Center, where we now enjoy a standing room only crowd of ~250.

2006: We instituted an emergency call system where we can, for example, alert residents at at home, cell or work if there’s an emergency or urgent situation in the neighborhood. We use this sparingly.

2013: We launched Piedmont Pines Nextdoor, a listserve just for us. Subscriptions climbed in just one year from zero to nearly 1,000. Send an email to info@piedmontpines.org to get an invitation to join. Be sure to include your Piedmont Pines street address so we can verify you're "one of us."

2014: We migrated off a hodgepodge of software and website platforms onto a seamless platform that integrates our finance, communication, website and membership management functions.

Mountain Boulevard Paving (2011)

By advocating on behalf of 1100+ Piedmont Pines households and urging residents to file individual complaints, we were successful in getting this thoroughfare moved to the top of the City’s list of paving priorities.  

 

Mail and Identity Theft (2003):  Victory Over Rampant Thefts 

While mail and identity theft were raging throughout the country, Piedmont Pines, in conjunction with Montclair Safety and Improvement Council (MSIC), implemented a wide-reaching public information campaign on protection techniques.  We urged the replacement of ALL non-locking mailboxes, and worked closely with USPS and local law enforcement to demonstrate to thieves:  we’re on alert and not worth your trouble.  Mail theft reports have dropped substantially, thanks primarily to the deterrence created by residents who installed locking mailboxes.  


Secondary Units: Battle To Retain Parking Restrictions
The association participated in the public debate to oppose loosening of parking restrictions and permitting requirements for Secondary Units.  We continue to monitor this issue’s impact on our serious parking and traffic problems.

View Ordinance:  Victory for Protection of
As-Purchased Views
The association lobbied successfully for inclusion of a property owners right to maintain the view at the time they purchased their home.  Note:  It is very important to take photographs at the time of purchase.


Fire Suppression:  Victory Over Brush Removal

Long before the advent of Green Bins for yard debris, the association organized chipping services throughout its neighborhoods. This service reduced fire fuel and helped keep yards neat and tidy. Today, to supplement Green Bin disposal and city-provided free chipping services, the association sponsors a debris dumpster at two to three locations each year during Earth Day (April) and Creek to Bay Day (September).

CalTrans:  Victory for Representation of Hills’ Interests

We'’ve worked with CalTrans to preserve and protect our interests on four fronts:  1) defeated a sound wall along Hwy 13 from Joaquin Miller Road to Park Blvd; 2) won the agency'’s concession to relandscape Hwy 13 after the median barriers were replaced;  3) trim trees along Hwy 13 to prevent fire ladders; and 4) continually report trash and blockage of ramp signs.

Widening Skyline Blvd (1974):  Victory Against High Speed Traffic

The association defeated a plan to widen Skyline Blvd. into a four lane highway. We continue to work with MSIC on traffic calming measures.


Chelton slide restoration (1968):  Pressure on City Agencies

A huge slide on Chelton near Chelsea blocked the road for 2 years. Piedmont Pines association stepped in to add pressure on city agencies to get the slide removed and the road reopened.


Shell Oil Pipeline (1965):  Victory Against Intrusion

The association successfully lobbied against this intrusive installation along Skyline Blvd. See a resident's recollection of this issue here.

Sewers (1962):  Victory for Modernization
The association pushed for and won a long-delayed replacement of septic tanks with sewers.

Schools (1949):  Victory for Education

The association lobbied to end busing our children into Glenview, and successfully negotiated the purchase of the old Boy Scouts’ Camp Diamond, now the site of both Joaquin Miller Elementary and Montera Middle schools. The property cost $52,000, $25,000 of which was raised from neighbors through subscriptions.

We stay very active with our public schools and maintain a liaison position on our Board to keep ourselves plugged in with their needs and ways our association can help them thrive.