San Francisco Chronicle: Stalled Oak Knoll development leaves fire fears


Oak Knoll, once a leading hospital for casualties of the Korean and Vietnam wars, now resembles a war zone itself.

The former Navy base in the Oakland hills has devolved into a swath of collapsed buildings, crumbling roads, mounds of toxic waste, shattered glass and bullet casings since Lehman Bros. - the financial firm backing a development at the site - filed for bankruptcy in 2008.


The city got some good news on Friday, when SunCal, the project developer, announced it had received $500,000 from Lehman's bankruptcy trustee to cut weeds, clean up debris, repair fences and hire 24-hour security guards.

It will take more than that to placate the neighbors, who want to see the Alameda County district attorney "arrest and start prosecuting these guys," said Don Mitchell of the Oak Knoll/Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood Association.

"It pisses me off," he said. "Lehman spent all this money on this property, and when it wasn't convenient anymore they packed up and left, leaving us with an extreme fire hazard."