After an intense 12 months of work, which included seven public workshops with over 30 hours of “round table” discussions, hundreds of speakers, and countless hours of discussion, writing, reviewing and revising, the Berkeley Planning Commission has released the much-anticipated Planning Commission Draft General Plan for community review and discussion. The Draft Plan is designed to replace the 1977 Master Plan and the first draft update prepared last summer by the City staff.
The draft plan sets four major policy goals for Berkeley for the next 20 years:
l Preserve Berkeley’s unique character and quality of life
l Ensure that Berkeley has an adequate supply of decent housing, living wage jobs and businesses providing basic goods and services
l Maximize and improve citizen participation in municipal decision-making.
The Plan attempts to address many of the challenges the city faces: Housing and Land Use: The plan contains policies to encourage the development of affordable housing downtown and along transit corridors to meet the current housing crunch in Berkeley and the Bay Area.
Transportation: The plan addresses the growing traffic problem with a series of policies to encourage transit use including working with transit agencies to establish an “EcoPass” program to provide area employees with free transit passes.
Infrastructure: The plan contains policies calling for maintenance, repair and replacement of the City’s aging infrastructure of sewers, streets and sidewalks.
Economic Development: The plan contains policies for promoting a strong industrial base and living wage jobs and supporting locally owned neighborhood-serving businesses.
Public hearings will be held on October 25, 2000 and November 8, 2000 with an additional hearing planned for January.
For copies of the plan, contact Andrew Thomas at 705-8135 or visit the City of Berkeley web site at: www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Planning/