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Ecocity plan pro-neighborhood

Erik Ferry Richmond
Tuesday December 18, 2001

Ecocity plan pro-neighborhood 


Berkeley should include ALL FOUR provisions of the proposed Ecocity Amendment in its’ General Plan update. Fears that the EcoAmendment would transform Berkeley into a glorified farm hostile to adequate housing, neighborhood integrity, and historic preservation are rendered groundless by a reasonably awake reading of the actual Amendment or a conversation with its sponsors.  

A significant net increase in affordable and market-rate housing as part of a viable, lively, diverse, “mixed-income/mixed-use,” and transit-oriented development downtown, as well as in other districts, would appear to be a cornerstone of the amendment, if what I’m reading is English in Policy Provision No. 3.  

And homeowners in Berkeley can relax – Policy No. 4 charts a course of gradual, voluntary, market-driven conversion of certain creek corridors and likely park and community garden sites into urban greenspace, which ought to add to surrounding residential property values. It is not out to destroy the value of single-family homes, or gobble up our cozy neighborhoods. On the contrary, we’d gain a number of additional assets in the mold of the Karl Linn Community Garden and Strawberry Creek Park.  

No, the EcoAmendment doesn’t seem to be out to assassinate our architectural heritage. The preservation and re-use of our John Galen Howards, Julia Morgans, and other historic buildings is readily acknowledged to be desirable and completely consistent with ecological redevelopment by none other than Richard Register and Kirstin Miller, principals in the EcoAmendment’s parent organization, Ecocity Builders.  

How do I know all this? I actually read the EcoAmendment myself.