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The Lowdown: Berkeley council on redistricting, drones, affordable housing, mini-dorms, more

Berkeley City Council, Oct. 16, 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Berkeley City Council, Oct. 16, 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso

On April 29, the Berkeley City Council is scheduled to look at zoning on Telegraph Avenue, mini-dorm regulation, changes to how the city handles after-hours noise complaints, a proposed affordable housing project on Berkeley Way and redistricting. There’s also a special work session at 5:30 p.m. to discuss drones in Berkeley.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how to weigh in about the meeting, even if you can’t attend.

Special session: Drones in Berkeley

More than a year after the Berkeley City Council asked three city panels to take a look at the use of drones around town, two starkly different recommendations are slated to come before officials in a special worksession Tuesday night. No action will be taken. Read more  on Berkeleyside about what’s under consideration. See related documents on the city website.

What’s on the action agenda?

A proposal related to the creation of an affordable housing project run by the city on the Berkeley Way parking lot is creeping toward reality with a request for qualifications Tuesday night, which would allow the city, eventually, to choose a planning team to handle the development.


Two items related to redistricting are listed at the end of the lengthy agenda, with a variety of alternative maps suggested by Councilman Kriss Worthington. (The city is also headed to court Tuesday afternoon to try to get clarity on district lines for November 2014.) Item 47 is a Worthington proposal asking council to adopt the United Student District Amendment map — which has been rejected previously by council, and Item 48 is a Worthington proposal related to a “minimum deviation plan” option and 11 other boundary possibilities. Item 29 also relates to redistricting, with the council seeking to rectify earlier actions that have been described as potential Brown Act open meeting violations.

There is a public hearing regarding zoning changes on Telegraph Avenue, which would allow for greater density and be in line with the city’s goals for the commercial district, according to staff.

Council is scheduled to vote to adopt new guidelines to define and regulate mini-dorms in Berkeley. Read past Berkeleyside coverage of mini-dorms.

The city is investigating whether to allow non-sworn employees to respond to after-hours noise complaints. Currently, those calls are handled by police. This proposal, from Councilman Worthington, would shift that duty to civilian employees.

The council will also consider the city’s plans for Allston Way and a proposed permeable paver project planned there. Two alternatives have been suggested by staff: to approve a contract with the lowest bidder, or reject the bids and put the money back into the paving program for use later.


Other items of interest

There are nearly 40 items on the consent calendar. Highlights include a $686,250 donation to the Berkeley Public Library from the estate of Mary Jo Pace; a grant application related to Bay Trail improvements; a proposal from Councilman Worthington to ask for combined crime data for the city and the University of California at Berkeley; and a proposal from Councilman Gordon Wozniak aimed to increase privacy for communication between city staff and private individuals.

There are also information reports attached to the agenda — which will not be acted upon — related to the city’s goBerkeley parking management program and the city’s sidewalk repair program, among several others.

Meeting details

Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.
Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.

The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Special sessions generally take place at 5:30 p.m. and regular meetings begin at 7 p.m. Council agendas are available online here. Watch the meetings online here.

Berkeleyside often covers council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get spirited. Follow council coverage on Twitter via hashtag #berkmtg. Follow along in real-time here, and tag your tweets with #berkmtg to join in. You do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Just click here.

Council-related Twitter handles:
@MayorTomBates
@LindaMaio (District 1)
Darryl Moore @BerkCouncil (District 2)
@JesseArreguin (District 4)
Laurie Capitelli @berkcap (District 5)
Kriss Worthington @k__worthington (District 7)
Gordon Wozniak @Gordon_Wozniak (District 8)

Learn more about the Berkeley City Council and how to connect with local representatives via the city website.


Is there something else on the agenda that’s caught your interest? Please let us know in the comments below.

Related:
Berkeley council on minimum wage increase, mini-dorms, ballot measures, more (04.01.14)
Berkeley council hears crime report, Aquatic Park plans, new Comal project appeal, more (03.25.14)
Berkeley council on Starbucks, redistricting… global warming warning labels? (03.11.14)
Berkeley council on redistricting, garbage fee hike, budget, pensions, false alarms, more (02.25.14)
Berkeley council on parks funding, 2014 elections, youth on drugs, rodent infestation (02.10.14)
Berkeley council on historic overlay, mini-dorms, violence prevention, 2020 Vision (02.28.14)

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