Tag Archives: Berkeley Hills

State court hears Mitch Kapor Berkeley home case

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The long-running saga of philanthropist and Lotus founder Mitch Kapor’s attempt to build a new home in North Berkeley landed at the California Supreme Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday this week.

At the Dec. 2 hearing, the Court heard arguments on whether the rules that exempt most proposed single-family homes from undergoing an environmental impact report (EIR) should apply to the proposal by Kapor, and his wife Freada Kapor Klein, to build a new home with a 10-car garage at 2707 Rose St.

According to Bob Egelko, the Chronicle’s courts reporter, at the one-hour hearing Susan Brandt-Hawley, a lawyer for the Berkeley Hillside Preservation group, re-iterated arguments that have been presented to Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board (which originally approved the project in January 2010), and the Alameda County Superior Court, which subsequently denied an appeal on the case.

Brandt-Hawley said that building a “huge home” in a “landslide zone,” which will also require extensive work to widen the roadway, should amount to unusual circumstances requiring environmental review. She cited testimony by the group’s expert witness, engineer Lawrence Karp. … Continue reading »

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Alleged Berkeley Hills robber headed to court

Image: Google Maps
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A felon authorities say is responsible for the armed robbery of a 77-year-old woman in her North Berkeley Hills home in March is headed to court next week to face two felony charges.

According to the Alameda County district attorney’s office, Johnathan Troy Lee robbed the woman March 24. The 22-year-old is facing first-degree residential robbery and burglary charges.

According to the Berkeley Police Department, Lee and another male entered the woman’s house, in the 1100 block of Park Hills Road shortly after 2 p.m. They were able to get inside through the home’s front door, which was unlocked. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Hills ‘suspicious package’ rendered safe

Image: Google Maps
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Authorities shut down roads and evacuated some residents in the area of the 100 block of Tunnel Road on Wednesday afternoon after a report of a suspicious package.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said “some homes” were evacuated and the department’s bomb squad was called in to investigate.

A resident told Berkeleyside that her family was told to evacuate at 3 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Police arrest mother, daughter after Berkeley Hills burglary

Police arrested two women after a burglary on Forest Lane earlier this month. Image: CrimeMapping.com
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Berkeley police arrested two El Sobrante women identified as mother and daughter after a burglary in the 200 block of Forest Lane in early October. One of the women is scheduled to appear in court today, Friday, Nov. 1.

The arrest was detailed in the latest Berkeley Police Department newsletter, which was released in late October.

On Oct. 7, officers responded to Forest Lane in the Berkeley Hills after a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious woman going into her neighbor’s home. She told police she thought it was suspicious, in part, because she knew her neighbor and did not recognize the woman.

“When the resident saw the woman carrying a bunch of items out of the house, she knew something was not right and called BPD,” wrote police in the newsletter. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Hills residents may get new AT&T cell antennas

An AT&T flier from early this year on the 862 Regal Road proposal; more recent information about how this antenna might look was not available this week. This and other applications are still in negotiations. (Click the image to see the full flier and description.)
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By Kate Darby Rauch and Emilie Raguso

A handful of neighbors on Regal Road want it. A bunch more on Grizzly Peak Boulevard don’t.

So read two differing Change.org petitions on AT&T proposals to build new cell antennas on power poles in the Berkeley Hills.

Applications for 12 AT&T cell nodes are winding their way through the city’s permitting process, with no final decisions yet. (See the map below for the proposed site locations and applications.)

All the proposed sites are on existing power lines, intended for what’s called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), which uses more, smaller antennas to cover an area, rather than one larger, macro tower.

“A DAS also allows for more widespread coverage because several sites can be deployed to more effectively cover an area of varied topography and elevation. That makes it a good match for hilly areas,” said Alex Krasov, AT&T public affairs manager. … Continue reading »

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Police investigate homicide on Grizzly Peak Boulevard

Police are investigating a homicide on Grizzly Peak Boulevard early this morning. A reader shared this photograph, just above the kids train area, and said cars are not being allowed to pass. Photo: A citizen reporter
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Update, 6:10 p.m. Lt. Alex Yao of the University of California Police Department said Grizzly Peak Boulevard has been re-opened to traffic. The victim has been identified as an adult male who was not affiliated with UC Berkeley. The Alameda County coroner’s office said information about the victim’s identity would need to come from police. Further details were not available Sunday night.

Original post, 2:53 p.m. Police are investigating the death of one person who was reportedly shot early Sunday morning on Grizzly Peak Boulevard between Centennial Drive and South Park Drive.

Earlier Sunday, the road was closed to through traffic as police continued their investigation and, as of about 2:40 p.m. it remained closed, police said. … Continue reading »

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Firefighters put out cottage blaze after reports of smoke

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A fire in an in-law unit in the Berkeley hills this week resulted in about $30,000 worth of damage, and its cause remains under investigation, authorities said Wednesday.

Multiple neighbors near Poppy Lane and Hilldale Avenue called to report an odor of smoke just after midnight Wednesday, said Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb of the Berkeley Fire Department.

Firefighters were on the scene in less than 10 minutes, but it took some time to locate and then reach the fire.

“Callers reported a strong smell of smoke; they didn’t have an immediate location,” said Webb. … Continue reading »

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Fingerprints help police arrest 3 in Senior Avenue assault

The 300 block of Senior Avenue
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Berkeley Police detectives have arrested three West Sacramento residents in connection with an interrupted burglary in the Berkeley hills in December during which thieves ran over a local resident.

Authorities announced the arrests Tuesday night at a special session before the City Council related to the Berkeley Police Department’s 2012 crime report. They provided additional detail Wednesday in a written statement.

According to the statement, a man walking his dog on Dec. 11 returned home to the 300 block of Senior Avenue around 3:15 p.m.

He “saw an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway of his house, occupied by a female sitting in the driver seat. At the same time, the resident heard noises coming from inside his house.” … Continue reading »

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House fire in Berkeley hills caused by portable heater

Fire now
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The fire today that saw two stories of a Berkeley hills home extensively damaged, and a huge plume of black smoke visible for miles, was caused by a portable heater setting alight a bed mattress, according to the Berkeley Fire Department.

Interim Deputy Fire Chief Avery Webb said a mattress caught fire in a dormer room at the top of the house and the blaze spread to the second story below.

Webb estimated the damage to the home was valued at $800,000. … Continue reading »

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Update: Berkeley hills fire ‘under control’ as of 2 p.m.

fire 055
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Update, 9:09 p.m. Firefighters say a portable heater caused the residential fire on Keith Avenue. Read about it on Berkeleyside.

Update, 2:10 p.m. According to emergency scanner traffic, the incident was determined to be under control as of just after 2 p.m. Berkeleyside will update this post as more information becomes available.

Original post, 12:42 p.m. Berkeley Fire crews are working to put out a fire in a north Berkeley home in the hills that began just before noon, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to the 1100 block of Keith Avenue at 11:47 a.m. for a report of a structure fire, said Interim Fire Chief Gil Dong. … Continue reading »

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Mountain lion tracks seen in Claremont Canyon Preserve

Mountain lion tracks CC Giorgio
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Mountain lion tracks have been sighted in the Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, according to Tom Stienstra, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle.

In his regular outdoors column published on Sunday Jan. 19, Stienstra noted two readers had reported being shocked at seeing the distinctive tracks.

“One of the tracks, reported by Bob Felton, occurred when he was walking his dogs and they became agitated and led him to the paw print,” wrote Stienstra. … Continue reading »

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Police arrest parolee linked to North Berkeley burglaries

Berkeley Police officers arrested a man in December whom they say has been linked to burglaries in North Berkeley. Image Source: Google Maps
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The Berkeley Police Department has arrested a local man they say appears to be linked to several North Berkeley burglaries, officials said Thursday. Police found the man, a felon, in possession of weapons and ammunition after a car chase from south Berkeley into Emeryville in late December.

On Dec. 22, 2012, Berkeley Police officers near Harmon and California streets in south Berkeley spotted a sedan matching the description of a car reported to be involved in several burglaries and possibly a robbery in Berkeley, said Officer Jennifer Coats, police spokeswoman, via email.

Officers tried to stop the driver, who fled from police “at a high rate of speed,” said Coats. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley hills neighbors anxious after recent robberies

Neighbors in the North Berkeley hills have seen a spate of burglaries this month, two of which have turned violent. Source: CrimeView Community
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About 60 people crowded into Northbrae Community Church on Thursday night to learn how better to protect themselves in the face of a big jump this month in home burglaries, two of which turned violent.

Most of the neighbors came from the North Berkeley hills area near Fairlawn Drive, though Councilwoman Susan Wengraf said she saw people at the meeting from around her district, District 6, who were worried about safety issues.

The neighborhood is part of the Berkeley Police Department’s Beat 2, which has seen a steady rise in home burglaries since September. That month there were just two home burglaries, with five the following month, eight in November and 12 already this month, as of Wednesday, according to CrimeView Community statistics, which pulls in data from the Police Department. … Continue reading »

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