In an op-ed today, Mayor Tom Bates urges Berkeley voters not to sign a petition for a November ballot measure about development downtown.
Update: 6//14: The initiative has qualified for the November 2014 ballot.
After hundreds of meetings, seven years of contentious debate, and the sting of a ballot referendum still fresh, the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night adopted a new plan for its downtown.
The Berkeley City Council last night approved on an 8-1 vote Mayor Tom Bates’ revised plan for downtown. Prior to that vote, the council had unanimously voted to rescind the Downtown Area Plan which was approved last July in a 7-2 vote. The only objection to the new plan was from Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, whose 4th district includes downtown.
The main issue on the agenda of tonight’s City Council meeting will be the fate of the Downtown Area Plan (DAP). Passed by the council last July in a 7-2 vote, the plan allowed for some taller buildings in the downtown core, but met resistance from both opponents of greater density and those advocating stronger provisions for affordable housing. Opponents gathered enough signatures to force the council to either rescind the plan or to place it on the June ballot for a citywide vote.
If you live in North Berkeley and you’re interested in what’s going on with the Downtown Area Plan, Council members Laurie Capitelli (District 5) and Susan Wengraf (District 6) are holding a Town Hall meeting tomorrow at 7pm.
A 16-story high-rise hotel under consideration in downtown Berkeley is making its way through the city approval process, with three preview meetings already completed before city panels related to development decisions. No votes have yet been taken, but are expected in the coming months.
The view from the L-shaped deck off the penthouse apartment at 2055 Center St. is spectacular. One side looks west toward San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Another side offers a sweeping vista of Berkeley’s downtown and hills.
Berkeley City Council last night unanimously approved both the Downtown Streets & Open Space Improvement Plan (SOSIP) and a schedule of fees that will help fund the proposed projects. SOSIP aims to help create a more pedestrian-oriented neighborhood downtown, and will help guide the design of parks, plazas and streetscapes in the area.
A Los Angeles real estate group submitted an application Thursday to build Berkeley’s first high-rise in 40 years — a 17-story luxury apartment complex on Harold Way that connects to the historic Hink’s Department Store on Shattuck Avenue.