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Posts: 28
Registered: ‎01-29-2011

How hard i$ it to rezone a property from "School" to a single family home in Oakland?

I've called th city, but they aren't much help. They say I need to go down there and talk to them. That  means taking a day off work. There is a property that I really like, but it's zoned as a school. It's been on the market forever, so I'm thinking it can't be all that easy.


This place does not have a shower. It has a kitchen and 2 1/2 baths. So I'd have to do that.

I wonder:

]1. If it's even possible.

2. How much it would cost.

3. Will a bank finance something like that?

Gold Contributor
Posts: 1,525
Registered: ‎08-07-2009

Re: How hard i$ it to rezone a property from "School" to a single family home in Oakland?

Generally, such a conversion can be done, but I have no experience with Oakland.


In my city, Capitola, someone bought a church (from St. John's Episcopal who needed cash) and converted it to a residence. I believe the church sold in 2007 for $2.5mm and the new owner is still working on the project. There were restrictions put how the remodel can be done. From the outside, it still looks like a church, tastefully worked on. The owner must have spent a fortune on this project. Link to google streetview.


Not a lot of people have the nerve to take on such a project. The person who bought that church probably loves the location and architecture. (The 8000 sqft lot was worth maybe $1.1mm in 2007). They got it substantially under list price (listed 3.2mm, sold $2.5mm after 2 years on the market.)



My suggestion is that you take the day off work. You may have a chance to buy this project  well below asking price. Possibly very much below the cost of a comparable structure on a residential lot. You will put in some time talking with the city, learn a bit, get it rezoned, and possibly save more money than some people earn in an entire year.


You could even do this on your lunch time, it does not take more than 20 minutes plus time to drive there/ return, I am sure.

Platinum Super Contributor
Posts: 11,328
Registered: ‎05-30-2009

Re: How hard i$ it to rezone a property from "School" to a single family home in Oakland?

If you do offer on the property be sure to include a contingency regarding the rezoning.  This could range from seller to complete rezoning prior to COE to contingent upon preliminary approval by Oakland.


I'd ask for a 45-60 day escrow with a long timeframe for contingencies including zoning, inspections, loan and appraisal.  This may take longer to process through.


Going down and talking about the property is the only way you'll know what the process will be like for this property.  They should be able to tell you the hurdles involved along with the costs.