The lowdown: Berkeley council on granny flats, Climate Action Plan goals, homeless services

Photo by Melati Citrawireja
The Berkeley City Council meets tonight. Photo: Melati Citrawireja

At its Nov. 3 meeting, the Berkeley City Council is set to consider an expansion of the city’s services to help the homeless, as well as relaxed parking rules for those who wish to build “granny flats” and live near transit. Council is also set to receive an update on its Climate Action Plan goals, and how the city proposes to close the gap between the emissions reductions it hopes to achieve and the reality of the most recently-measured levels. Scroll down to see the highlights and learn how to follow along.

The special session

CLIMATE ACTION PLAN Council will get an update as to how the city is doing with its Climate Action Plan goals: “Berkeley’s 2013 community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including emissions from transportation, building energy use, and solid waste disposal, are approximately 9% below 2000 baseline levels, despite a population increase of approximately 14% in that same time period.” Data from 2014 have not been tallied. Despite the progress, as previously reported on Berkeleyside, “the community is not currently on a trend to achieve the CAP target of reducing community-wide emissions 33% below 2000 levels by 2020 and 80% by 2050,” according to the staff report, and “Emissions levels are approximately 19% higher than our 2013 target.” The city says it is trying to focus on reducing driving trips, reducing energy consumption in buildings and diverting solid waste in landfills to try to narrow the gap. Read more.

The action calendar

GRANNY FLATS Council is set to vote on zoning amendments to its accessory dwelling unit (ADU) law. Council voted in July in favor of making it easier to build those units. Tonight’s vote includes a technical correction related to Residential Parking Permit (RPP) zones, where no new parking permits would be allowed for the ADUs. Council members Lori Droste, Darryl Moore and Kriss Worthington have put forward another tweak, which would allow units within a quarter-mile of a rapid bus transit stop, or two transit lines, to waive the parking requirement, whether or not the unit is in an RPP neighborhood. Under the current law, residents may only waive parking requirements if an ADU is within a quarter-mile of BART, and within an RPP zone. Council members note in their proposed amendment that “BART is a key component of public transportation but it isn’t the only mode of transportation that should be considered for the purposes of parking waivers.”

HOMELESS SERVICES Councilman Jesse Arreguín is asking the city to put more resources into efforts to address homelessness, including “expanding the city’s Homeless Outreach Team and Mobile Crisis Team, increasing funding for the [police department’s] Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), increasing the number of public restrooms, and providing additional storage spaces and warming centers for the homeless population.” The recommendations came out of a Homeless Task Force community process organized by Arreguín in 2013. According to the report, the city currently has just one full-time position allocated for its Homeless Outreach Team, “which is too low to adequately handle the workload needed.” The city’s Mobile Crisis Team only operates from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and should be  expanded, he says. Read the proposal. In June, council members said they supported many of the ideas but were not sure how the city would be able to afford them.


TRANSPARENCY FOR MAJOR PROJECTS Two council members have put forward a proposal that would require developers of large projects, over 30,000 square feet, to submit a “construction pay transparency form,” which would “ensure that workers on a major project are not deprived of a fundamental right: disclosure and transparency regarding who their employer is, what their rate of pay is and other legally required information regarding mandatory and voluntary fringe benefits.” Council members Laurie Capitelli and Darryl Moore say the proposal simply requires compliance with state laws, and establishes liability for developers who don’t comply. Read the proposal.

Other items of interest

1947 CENTER ST. RENOVATION The city has been looking to renovate its building at 1947 Center St. to create new space for the Police Review Commission, build new offices for the Engineering and Transportation divisions, and relocate the Planning & Development Department. The city sought bids last fall, but the low bid fell through and the next lowest bid exceeded the city’s budget for the project. The city needs council approval to reject the bids and “negotiate in the open market.” See the consent calendar item.

ADELINE CORRIDOR REPORT Council is set to receive an information item on the latest updates related to the Adeline Corridor planning process. See the report, and don’t miss past Berkeleyside coverage.

The next council meeting is Nov. 10.

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.

Berkeleyside often covers council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get spirited. See council coverage on Twitter marked with #berkmtg. Follow along in real-time, and tag your tweets with #berkmtg to join in.The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The special session starts at 5:30 p.m. and the regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. Council agendas are available online here. Watch the meetings online here.

You do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Just click here.

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

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

Related:
Council on street paving and housing, housing, housing (10.27.15)
Council on Acme bar patio appeal, lead poisoning, hate crimes (10.13.15)
Council on Tasers, affordable housing, cellphone warning, Tuolumne Camp (10.06.15)
Council on new group living rules, medical cannabis, burying utility wires, more (09.29.15)
Council on minimum wage, crime report, tobacco sales limits, more (09.15.15)
Council on building safety, community benefits, Dana Street conversion, more (07.14.15)
Berkeley council on street behavior, Campanile view, budget, Berkeley Barb, more (06.30.15)
Council on short-term rentals, ‘granny flats,’ homelessness, community benefits (06.23.15)
Council on short-term rentals, the budget, money for art, library renaming, mental health (06.09.15)

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