Plans by Lotus founder and philanthropist Mitch Kapor to build a new home in Berkeley, which have been more than two years in the making, have been put on hold following a court ruling in favor of a citizen group challenging the construction.
Update, 01.31.12: Both parties in the 2707 Rose Street case, which went to appeal and was heard in the First Appellate District, Division 4, California Court of Appeal in San Francisco on January 24th, are now waiting to hear the outcome. In the meantime Berkeley Hills Preservation group alerts us to its website which contains full details of its case.
Fifteen months after Mitch Kapor received permission from the city of Berkeley to build a home at 2707 Rose Street, the Lotus founder and philanthropist has begun to dismantle the abandoned 2-story, 2,477 sq ft 1925 house on the property, in readiness, one assumes, for construction to begin on his new abode.
A group of north Berkeley residents who are trying to prevent Lotus founder and philanthropist Mitch Kapor and his wife from building a new home in the city lost their case which was heard in the Alameda County Superior Court early last month.
A long-awaited hearing was held on Wednesday morning at Alameda County Superior Court in a case that sees the city of Berkeley pitched against a group of Berkeley residents over a well-known software mogul and philanthropist’s attempt to build a new, contemporary-style home at 2707 Rose Street.
A couple of items distinguish Mayor Tom Bates’ office from the municipal run of the mill. Among the ceremonial tchotchkes exchanged with foreign mayors, there’s a large bottle of beer labeled AB 3601 and on the wall is a photo of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The Zapata image might be more in keeping with a Berkeley dorm room than the mayor’s office, but it’s in the character of the city that a mayor that is seen as a centrist conciliator has a place in his heart for a revolutionary army leader. (The oddly named beer bottle is a tribute to Bates’ leading role in passing Assembly Bill 3601 in 1982 which spurred the brew pub movement first in California, then across the nation.)
A group of Berkeley residents has filed suit against the City of Berkeley for failing to act with due process when it approved the application, by Lotus founder and philanthropist Mitch Kapor, to build a new home at 2707 Rose Street.