Tag Archives: Shattuck Avenue
One of Berkeley’s largest sales tax generators won a significant victory Thursday night when the city’s zoning board granted use permits to Berkeley Honda to open in the former Any Mountain shop on Shattuck Avenue.
The fight may not be over, however, as neighbors who oppose the project say they may appeal the decision to the Berkeley City Council. Many of those neighbors made their opposition clear Thursday night, with nearly 40 of them testifying during public comment before the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board.
Still others who came to speak against the permits reportedly left due to the lateness of the hour. Public testimony did not begin until 10:30 p.m., and the vote did not take place until 1:25 a.m.
Speakers said they support Berkeley Honda and its workers, but don’t think it’s the right location for auto repairs. Until recent years, that type of use was not allowed in their neighborhood, they have said. The Adeline Corridor is also undergoing a public planning process, and neighbors have said that process should have a chance to conclude before significant decisions are made that will impact the neighborhood’s future.
A handful of supporters for Berkeley Honda testified before the board, but all of them were Berkeley Honda employees. … Continue reading »
Berkeley police were called to world-famous restaurant Chez Panisse on Friday night after a group of animal-rights protesters stormed into the dining room and disrupted dinner service.
About 10 people carrying flowers from the group Direct Action Everywhere walked into the downstairs portion of Chez Panisse and asked for the diners’ attentions, according to a press release issued by the group. (Update: See below for a statement issued by Chez Panisse on Monday Sept. 12.)
“I come to you today with a message of compassion,” Matt Johnson, one of the activists, told those seated at tables covered with white tablecloths. “A message on behalf on the billions of animals exploited, who are tortured and killed by humans every year. We are told a lie … that animals exist as commodities for human use… Animals are living feeling individuals. They value their lives and their freedom the same as you and I do. They experience the same pain, the same joy, the same love of life and they have it have it ripped away from them and are brutally killed for the mere crime of being different than ourselves.”
The invasion into Chez Panisse is part of DxE’s “Flowers for Animals” campaign, “which encourages activists to peacefully speak out in stores and restaurants that serve products from animals killed for food about violence against animals on farms across the United States,” according to the press release.
The incident started around 10 p.m. but Chez Panisse management didn’t call the Berkeley Police Department until 11:00 p.m., according to Lt. Alyson Hart.
A Chez Panisse employee described the animal-rights activists as busting into the restaurant “screaming and yelling.”
The group, which was 10-15 strong, according to Hart, refused to leave the restaurant, which was when the restaurant decided to call police. (Update: The group involved two 18-year-olds, a man and woman, from Pleasanton. No other information was available about its members.) … Continue reading »
A 58-year-old man outside the downtown Berkeley Walgreens was nearly robbed early Friday morning, authorities report.
According to a notice released by the University of California Police Department late Friday afternoon, the man was walking at 6:25 a.m. when the suspect tried to take his property.
“The suspect was unsuccessful and fled the area,” according to a UCPD statement. “The victim was not injured during the encounter.”
Police checked the area but could not find the suspect.
He was described as a 25-year-old black man with medium complexion and a thin build wearing a blue or gray shirt. … Continue reading »
Outside the Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley at Shattuck Avenue and Essex Street, the scene is busy.
A black-clad security guard mindfully scans the street, making notes, while a colleague collects trash with a mechanical scoop from the sidewalks. After a few minutes, a black Hyundai Sonata rolls up, booming a track from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The noise prompts the manager of Café La Renaissance across the street to close the door in apparent frustration.
CBCB, at 3033 Shattuck Ave., is a popular medical cannabis dispensary, at least judging from the amount of foot traffic on a weekday afternoon. Its supporters and customers praise it, and dispensary employees make an earnest attempt to monitor the immediate vicinity of the operation — at least when reporters are lurking. But the occasionally loud and frenetic activity outside its doors has riled some in the neighborhood.
More than a dozen neighbors, many of whom would speak only on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, expressed displeasure with a host of issues they say those hanging around outside the dispensary bring to the neighborhood. High on that list are double parking, driveway blocking and smoking pot in vehicles prior to driving off — all of which the residents Berkeleyside spoke with pointed out are illegal.
“It’s not a drug issue, it’s the people,” one neighbor told Berkeleyside outside his home. He added that he didn’t think the dispensary’s security guards spend enough time making sure CBCB’s customers leave the neighborhood after they acquire cannabis. … Continue reading »
A man authorities say threatened to have a gun when he robbed a Berkeley art supply shop clerk is set to return to court Tuesday to find out if a judge will order him to stand trial.
Bruce Wayne Leslie, 65, was on probation and had “an extensive history of robberies” at the time of his arrest earlier this month, authorities said. He is being held on $1 million bail, according to online records from the Alameda County sheriff’s office.
According to the Berkeley Police Department, Leslie entered the Artist & Craftsman Supply shop — at 2573 Shattuck Ave. — at about 4:15 p.m. Aug. 8 and demanded money from the register. He threatened to have a gun and told the assistant manager to “hurry up,” according to court papers.
“The assistant manager was afraid of Leslie hurting her and gave him money from the register,” police wrote.”Leslie grabbed the money from the assistant manager’s hand and walked out of the store.”
Another store staffer followed Leslie about four blocks south on Shattuck until police arrived. According to court papers, he “did not follow … orders and had to be forcefully stopped.” … Continue reading »
Work on creating a new, brighter BART plaza in downtown Berkeley will start any day now, and those using the trains or AC Transit can expect to find their usual entrances or bus stops changing over the next year.
When construction is completed in September 2017, Berkeley will have a BART plaza with a more open layout, better lighting, a signature glass awning, new bus stops, and places for special events, according to Matthai Chakko, a spokesman for the city of Berkeley. There will be screens displaying real-time arrival and departure times for BART trains and AC Transit buses, as well as better signage directing travelers to UC Berkeley and other locations of interest. The signature red brick rotunda will be gone.
The $7.6 million project, formally known as the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza and Transit Area Improvement Project, will also have bio-retention planters and landscaping that can treat on-site stormwater, according to a BART press release. Restaurants will have space for outside tables, which downtown business boosters hope will create a town square sensibility.
Read more about the BART plaza project on Berkeleyside.
“I think this is going to be really transformative for downtown Berkeley,” BART director Rebecca Saltzman told Berkeleyside in April. “The area right now is very congested. This will really open up the space and improve the biking and walking options to BART. I think this will really be a model.”
The BART Plaza at Shattuck Avenue and Center Streets serves 30,000 daily transit riders who use BART, AC Transit, and UC Berkeley Bear Transit Shuttle. The project is expected to “improve traffic safety and enhance the transit rider experience,” according to a Berkeley press release. … Continue reading »
The Berkeley Fire Department has responded to a fire on Center Street in downtown Berkeley that caused the evacuation of several buildings and is backing up traffic in the area.
The fire, reported at about 3:30 p.m., took place at 2124 Center St. between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Street.
Donna McCracken, deputy fire chief, said the fire broke out in a wall at ground level in the commercial building.
Firefighters had been able to knock down the fire by putting water on it, but were having difficulty accessing its source due to the tight quarters.
Traffic was jammed up on Center between Shattuck and Oxford, McCracken said.
Firefighters remained on scene as of about 4:15 p.m. to make sure the fire had been extinguished. … Continue reading »
Update, April 27: BFD says the rough monetary value of the damage caused by the fire and burst water pipe is $100,000. BFD also confirmed that they went back to the apartment building later on the night of April 26 to handle “a small amount of burning material in the attic.”
Original story: Approximately 30 residents of an apartment building on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Delaware Street in Berkeley were displaced Tuesday evening following a fire and subsequent water damage, according to authorities. … Continue reading »
UPDATE, 12:20 p.m. AC Transit spokesman Robert Lyles confirmed that a man collapsed while standing next to a stationary bus just before 10 a.m. Friday, apparently due to a medical condition. “He fell against the side of the bus, and slid between the curb and the bus,” Lyles said. There was no collision between the individual and the bus, Lyle said. The man was transported to Highland Hospital. His condition is unknown.
ORIGINAL STORY: Berkeley Fire and Berkeley Police responded Friday morning to an incident in which a man went under an AC Transit bus in downtown Berkeley.
The incident happened some time before 10 a.m. at the bus stop at Shattuck Avenue and Kittredge Street.
BFD paramedics worked to release the man who was near the rear right wheel of the no. 18 bus. He was released at around 10:15 a.m. and placed in an ambulance and transported.
His condition was unknown at press time. … Continue reading »
Neighbors had put together a petition late last year to ask the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the building, at 2777 Shattuck Ave. The LPC voted in December to designate the building a “structure of merit.”
See complete Berkeley Honda coverage on Berkeleyside.
Property owner Glenn Yasuda had appealed that decision. He has been trying to work out a deal with Berkeley Honda to let the company move in. The business had to leave its old location due to construction. Many Berkeley Honda employees attended last week’s meeting to ask council to overturn the LPC vote.
Many neighborhood residents also came to the March 15 council meeting to urge officials to uphold the LPC decision. Many said they don’t mind if Berkeley Honda moves in and didn’t think the LPC designation should stop Honda from forging ahead. They also criticized the company for trying to pit local residents against the workers. … Continue reading »
An innovative program to offer secure storage containers for the possessions of Berkeley’s homeless could cost nearly $350,000 a year in staffing, along with $50,000 in start-up costs.
Interim City Manager Dee Williams-Ridley provided the City Council with the estimates in a Feb. 26 memo that has been posted on the city website.
The storage program must be in place before the city can begin enforcing a slate of other new rules designed to clean up Berkeley’s sidewalks and limit problematic behavior on them. Advocates for the homeless have said the laws will only serve to criminalize the community’s most vulnerable and downtrodden. Council voted to approve the new rules in December.
According to the memo, the city is looking at a six-month pilot program at 1931 Center St.: “The plan is to re-open the lockers currently located behind the Veteran’s Building and to add a structure in the same location to house an additional fifty (50) 64-gallon storage containers.”
The area would be secured, and staff would be on site daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to allow access. The city says it is also looking at additional sites “to ensure we locate the program in the most appropriate place.” … Continue reading »
The Berkeley City Council voted this week to review a decision by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to protect the former Any Mountain and Berkeley Bowl location, where Berkeley Honda hopes to one day open, as a structure of merit.
Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to bring the decision to a public hearing “at the earliest possible date.” (Councilman Max Anderson was absent due to illness.) City staff said that hearing may happen March 8, but has not been finalized. Earlier this month, property owner Glenn Yasuda also filed an appeal of the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) decision.
Honda hopes to open a new full-service dealership at 2777 Shattuck, between Ward and Stuart streets, and is currently operating out of two temporary locations, at 2627 Shattuck and 1500 San Pablo Ave. Initially, the company hoped to move to 1500 San Pablo but “lost that site to a multi-national developer,” according to project documents.
See complete Berkeley Honda coverage on Berkeleyside.
The LPC voted Dec. 3 to grant one type of landmark status to the building in response to a petition and application filed by “at least fifty City residents,” according to Tuesday’s staff report. The LPC deemed the building a “structure of merit” for two reasons: as a notable example of “streamline moderne” architecture, and “for its historical significance to the City and neighborhood within the context of indoor recreation.” … Continue reading »
A San Mateo-based developer has submitted an application to build a 180-foot-tall mixed-use high-rise in downtown Berkeley over a redesigned Walgreens store.
Shattuck Terrace Green Apartments at 2190 Shattuck Ave., just north of Allston Way, is set to include 274 units, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 19,000-square-foot underground garage with spots for more than 80 vehicles. The 18-story structure would replace a 2-story retail building. Walgreens is there now, and is expected to return if Terrace Green is built, according to project documents.
Read more about tall buildings proposed in Berkeley in past Berkeleyside coverage.
The city’s Downtown Area Plan, which was adopted in 2012 after Berkeley voters endorsed its concepts in 2010, allows for the construction of three 180-foot-tall buildings in Berkeley’s downtown core, and two 120-foot-high buildings. UC Berkeley has the right to build two more 120-foot structures. … Continue reading »