Last night, according to the SF Chronicle (nowhere to be found in the Oakland Tribune?) the Oakland City Council approved $3.5 million to develop plans for the area surrounding the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum and Arena. I have a few quick thoughts. Why was part of the planning contract awarded to Forest City, the developer of the just so-so Uptown development? And why hire a developer to do the planning at all? So far there seems to be little mention of housing, which is unfortunate given the vast tract of land and the general shortage of housing in Oakland and the larger Bay Area. Finally, this makes the BART airport connector all the more unfortunate, given that it both won't make stops throughout the eventual development and isn't a well integrated part of the existing BART system.