Tag Archives: Ashby BART
A 6-story building set to include 50 rental units and four live-work units was approved Thursday night by Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board, though neighborhood opposition will likely mean an appeal to City Council.
Nearly 300 people have signed a petition asking for changes to the project, at 2902 Adeline St. in South Berkeley, and many showed up Thursday to testify before the zoning board. Many neighbors asked the board to delay its vote until the Adeline Corridor community process is complete, or to approve a 4-story building instead.
The Adeline Corridor planning process has been underway since 2015, but it was paused while the city changed consultants to herald it through to completion, city leaders said recently. It is scheduled to end in 2017. The majority of the board, citing in part the housing crisis, did not indicate support for holding up development pending the completion of that process.
The project has drawn so much attention both because of its size and because the South Berkeley neighborhood has not seen the level of development happening in recent years around downtown, or along many of the city’s other large commercial avenues, such as University and San Pablo, in West Berkeley or in the Southside neighborhood near the UC Berkeley campus.
Supporters of the petition are lobbying for a minimum of 40% below-market-rate units in the project and more parking, as well as community benefits from developer Realtex, such as the dedication of 5% of rental proceeds to South Berkeley nonprofits. Zoning board members said Thursday night that those asks are beyond what the city can require, and a majority of the board voted to approve the project as submitted.
Public testimony lasted for more than three hours and included many passionate speakers on both sides: neighbors concerned with the project’s impacts on South Berkeley, as well as advocates of increased density, particularly on transit corridors and near BART, who say the state’s housing crisis demands timely approval of projects like this one. Unlike many zoning board meetings where public comment tends to be dominated by stiff opposition, Thursday night’s speakers included quite a few voices in favor of approval.
Many in the former group were dismissive of those in the latter camp of self-described “YIMBYs,” or “yes-in-my-back-yard” residents, who say they want to see appropriate housing built as quickly as possible. Petition-signers tended to be homeowners who are older and have lived in the city longer. Many of the YIMBYs said they didn’t live in the immediate neighborhood, were younger renters, and were more likely to be car-free or “car-light.”
“It’s fairly obvious to me who doesn’t live in the neighborhood,” one man told the board as he described the reasons for his opposition to the project. “It’s completely out of context for the neighborhood. I’m not interested in turning Berkeley into New York City.” … Continue reading »
Who Berkeley residents vote onto the Berkeley City Council this November could dramatically alter how the city looks in the future. The Berkeley City Council currently stands divided, with pro-development council members claiming the majority of votes, but that could all change once ballots are cast this fall. While some on the council favor more aggressive development as a way to abate the housing affordability crisis, others take issue with the rampant building that tends to favor affluent residents while displacing those without large … Continue reading »
A man who set his shirt on fire after threatening people on a BART train with a knife was arrested in Berkeley late Monday afternoon, authorities report.
According to a brief notice released by the BART Police on Monday night, the man was riding a Fremont-bound train when he began to threaten people with the knife.
BART officers responded to the Ashby station, at 3100 Adeline St., to intercept the train and detain the man at about 4:40 p.m.
According to BART, the man got off the train at Ashby, then set his shirt on fire on the platform.
When he left the platform, a train operator was able to extinguish the flames. (BART PD clarified after publication that the man was not wearing the shirt when he set it on fire.)
Officers found the man and took him into custody at gunpoint, according to the BART Police. … Continue reading »
Police arrested an 18-year-old who grabbed a cell phone from another person at the downtown Berkeley BART station, then punched him in the face before fleeing on a train after a bystander was able to take back the phone.
The robbery attempt happened Sunday just before 1:10 p.m., according to the BART Police.
The victim told police a man had grabbed his phone from his hand, and punched him in the face as he took the phone.
“A male bystander grabbed the phone from the suspect, as the suspect was punching the victim, and returned the phone to the victim,” according to the BART Police. “The suspect fled on a train, which was intercepted by an officer at the Ashby Station.” … Continue reading »
Update, 6:28 p.m. BPD’s Sgt. Friedman said the victim and assailant had a dispute inside the Black & White liquor store shortly before the beating: The suspect left and returned armed with the bat, which was aluminum.
Friedman described the assailant as a black woman in her 30s, 5 foot 2 to 5 foot 5 inches tall, about 200 pounds. She wore a straight black wig or weave down to her mid-back, and was dressed in a white long-sleeved shirt or jacket, blue plaid pants and a bright red rectangular shoulder bag with a black strap. The woman left in a black Chrysler Sebring.
The victim, a man in his 20s, is expected to survive.
Said Friedman, “There were several witnesses to the incident but we are still investigating. We ask anyone who knows the identity of the suspect, or who witnessed the assault, to please contact BPD at 981-5900 as soon as possible.”
Original story, 3:52 p.m. Berkeley Police officers were on the scene Sunday afternoon at Ashby Avenue and Adeline Street, across from the Ashby BART station, after a man was reportedly assaulted by someone with a metal bat, authorities said.
Passers-by alerted Berkeleyside to the incident, and said the metal bat could be seen in the roadway Sunday afternoon. … Continue reading »
By Margit Stange
“Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights,” a multi-media exhibit, is as bold and engaging as the historical movement it documents.
On April 5, 1977, disability rights protesters marching on San Francisco’s federal building spontaneously transformed a sit-in into a 26-day occupation, achieving the longest sit-in of a federal office building to date. Four years earlier, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 made it illegal for federally funded facilities or programs to discriminate against disabled people. But Joseph Califano, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), withheld his signature, blocking implementation of Section 504. By 1977, angered and impatient, a coalition of activists launched protests across the country.
San Francisco’s occupation of the HEW Building at 50 United Nations Plaza became the focal point of the protest. Enduring hardships, deprivations and medical risks, the occupiers dug in, finally emerging to join an April 30, 1977, victory rally after Secretary Califano signed the 504 regulations unchanged. … Continue reading »
Update, 3 p.m. Ashby BART station is now open, following its closure in the wake of a person going under a train Monday at around 12:20 p.m., according to BART spokesman Jim Allison. Passengers will likely experience delays as trains get back on schedule, Allison said in a message left on the BART media hotline at 2:45 p.m. Allison confirmed that the incident resulted in a fatality and that the Alameda County coroner’s bureau responded to the scene. The case is under investigation by BART Police.
Update, 2 p.m. Ashby BART station is still closed due to the person under the train.
Original story, 12:50 p.m. Ashby BART station was closed at around 12:30 p.m. Monday due to what BART described in a Twitter alert as a “major medical emergency.” A person was reported as being under the train at 12:24 p.m., according to a message left by BART spokesman Jim Allison on its media hotline. … Continue reading »
Tensions arose Saturday between community members and city staff at a Friends of Adeline forum focused on Berkeley’s Adeline Corridor revitalization project, with members of the group expressing doubt about whether the city will truly prioritize the needs of the neighborhoods.
Held at the Black Repertory Group’s theater on Adeline Street in South Berkeley, longtime residents of the area as well as local activists, business owners and organizers gathered to make sure their voices are heard in the upcoming months. Since January, residents have expressed concerns that the Adeline Corridor project would gentrify the area, threatening the diversity and culture of the historic neighborhood.
Attendees of the forum also addressed concerns over proposed developments, such as a 6-story residential project at Adeline and Russell that has spurred growing comments of gentrification and the “pushing out” of the area’s remaining black residents. About 100 people attended the meeting.
About 40 people crammed into the community room at the South Branch of the Berkeley Public Library on Wednesday night to hear about a new project proposed at Adeline and Russell streets, and offer feedback to the developer.
The project — which would replace AW Pottery at 2908 Adeline — is in its very early stages, and has not yet been submitted to the city of Berkeley, said developer Cody Fornari of San Francisco-based real estate firm Realtex. Fornari said the South Berkeley property, at 2902 Adeline St., is currently in escrow and has not officially changed hands.
Realtex is also working on a proposal to construct a 7-story building on Telegraph Avenue — where restaurants including Norikonoko and Finfiné have been in operation for more than two decades. The company also won approval last year for a 5-story building at University and McGee avenues, but has not yet broken ground.
Throughout the info session, many in attendance expressed concern about the project — still in the “conceptual phase” — which is currently set to include 47 residential units, eight live-work units and 18 parking spaces. The building is proposed to reach 6 stories, or 65 feet tall. … Continue reading »
This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please don’t hesitate to share photos, videos or tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer to be anonymous. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — we value your eyes and ears, and you may be the only one to get in touch. We very much want to know about issues of neighborhood concern.
From May 7-13, there were reports of six robberies, 18 burglaries, 11 assaults or batteries, no weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also seven stolen vehicles, 10 disturbances and 26 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. There were no significant reported incidents from the University of California Police Department (UCPD). These numbers are subject to change. Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed by the beginning of that time period.
Thursday, May 7
There were three disturbance calls: at 1:57 a.m. at Grant Street and Allston Way; at 6:20 a.m. at Milvia Street and Bancroft Way; and at 12:37 p.m. in the 2100 block of Shattuck Avenue.
There were two commercial burglaries, at 3:54 a.m. in the 1100 block of Virginia Street, and at 4 p.m. in the 2400 block of Webster Street.
There was a robbery at 5:30 a.m. at Acton and Delaware streets.
There was a home burglary at 8 a.m. at an unlisted location.
A community member was walking her dog in the 700 block of Spruce Street at 12:30 p.m. when a female deer became aggressive and charged her, ultimately kicking her and knocking her to the ground, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman. The woman reported minor injuries but did not need to be taken to the hospital.
A vehicle was stolen at 3 p.m. in the 1700 block of Virginia.
A woman told the BART Police her $320 Big Shot bicycle was stolen while secured with a U-lock at the bicycle racks at Ashby Station between 6:15 a.m. and about 6 p.m.
… Continue reading »
About 100 neighbors gathered Saturday morning at the South Berkeley Community Church to work on a document outlining their hopes for the city’s revitalization of the Adeline Corridor.
It was the second meeting of Friends of Adeline, a community group created after the city was awarded a $750,000 planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission last year. At a public information session hosted by the city in January, many residents said they were concerned the project would threaten the diversity and history of the neighborhood.
With the encouragement of Councilman Max Anderson, neighbors convened for the first time in April to begin to draft a “manifesto” to present to the city and MIG, the Berkeley-based project consultant that will oversee the grant.
“We are a resident-led group here,” said Chris Schildt, who facilitated Saturday’s meeting with planning commissioner and Berkeley native Ben Bartlett. “I think it’s important to recognize that, while the city is creating this process for us, we need to make sure that we know, and as a collective voice can say, what neighbors want.” … Continue reading »
Neighbors will meet Saturday morning at the South Berkeley Community Church to discuss the city’s plans to revitalize the Adeline Corridor. All are invited.
Unlike prior meetings organized by the city, this session is community driven: “We are NOT affiliated with the City of Berkeley. We are neighbors who care about each other and want to shape the future of our area plan,” according to a flier created to promote the event.
Organizers said attendees will “discuss and help shape our community values … to have a voice in creating an inclusive, fair and just proposal for the Adeline Corridor Plan.” (See the meeting flier.)
Last year, the city of Berkeley won a $750,000 planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to fund a planning process focused on the Adeline Corridor that’s set to look at everything from community character and business activity to open space, jobs, housing, parking, sidewalks and lighting, historic preservation and transit. … Continue reading »
An estimated 120 people showed up to the South Berkeley Senior Center on a recent weekend to learn about a new planning process underway by the city to consider what could be big changes along the Adeline Corridor.
The Jan. 31 meeting was primarily an information session to let people know how they can participate in the process, set to last 24-30 months, which will be overseen by Berkeley-based consultant MIG. Last year, the city of Berkeley won a $750,000 planning grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to fund the process, which is set to look at everything from community character and business activity to open space, jobs, housing, parking, sidewalks and lighting, historic preservation and transit.
Many in attendance were forceful in their insistence that the city must commit to keeping the neighborhood, and the process, inclusive and diverse.
Read more about Adeline Street in past Berkeleyside coverage.
“They were setting the anchor point for future negotiations,” said Berkeley native and Planning Commission member Ben Bartlett, of the crowd. He said some longtime residents told the city they were concerned the process would be a repeat of a previous plan to rezone the area, a plan he said neighbors managed to derail. “It was emotional, but I’m confident the issues will be worked out.” … Continue reading »