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Neighborhoods don’t want tall new buildings

Angela Canepa
Wednesday May 15, 2002

To the Editor:  

Kevin Zwick of Affordable Housing Associates (AHA) does not understand why the residents on Sacramento Street do not want a four-story building nearby. This lack of understanding is the only reason the City Council is currently reviewing the project. If the project is delayed one more year, AHA can only look to themselves for answers.  

AHA needs to understand why the residences of Berkeley neighborhoods oppose their projects. We are frustrated with AHA and ZAB not listening to our frustrations and concerns.  

While Sacramento is a major artery in Berkeley, it is also a residential street with small pockets of commercial development. Maybe AHA needs to locate the affordable housing in more appropriate neighborhoods within Berkeley, if four stories are necessary. 

I support more housing in Berkeley. I believe that seniors, the disabled, and low-income families deserve a chance to live in decent housing within the Berkeley city limits and I would like to see them have that housing on Sacramento Street.  

What Kevin Zwick of AHA does not understand is that he needs to conform to the existing structure of the neighborhood. Sacramento Street should not be spotted with large four-story buildings standing out in contrast to the small commercial buildings and residential housing (the majority of which are single-story detached homes). When are the ZAB and the Design Review Committee going to recognize the need for some architectural consistency? 

I also question the AHA need for the fourth story on this building. Will these penthouses be available to seniors, the disabled, and low-income families? Or will they be available to the highest-bidders? 


- Angela Canepa