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Height Initiative article contained faulty information

Martha Nicoloff
Saturday July 13, 2002

To the Editor: 

I read Kurtis Alexander's report on the Height Initiative with amazement. Where did he get his facts?  

The H.I. collected 3,303 valid signatures, l,259 more than the 2,044 needed to qualify for the November ballot. Please have your reporters do a fact check. 

The following is a letter that I sent to the City Council, and your reporter should have read. 


Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:  

After a two year period of research and conferencing, the Berkeley Height Initiative has been successfully circulated amongst the citizenry and has found several thousand supporters in a few short weeks. Like the Neighborhood Preservation initiative of l973 it has been supported by neighborhood people of the flatter lands with great enthusiasm. Hill people have not been left out, their grievance about over scale additions to homes on hill sites has been a growing problem. (McMansions, enlarging or replacing older homes) These communities will have the added protection of a mailed zoning notice, information on structural changes that cause increased building height, and a public hearing before the Zoning Adjustments Board.  

The Height Ordinance has been carefully presented in a format that makes it easy for staff the integrate the sections into the Zoning Ordinance. Saving much staff time and giving citizens a clear building standard for the next 10 years. 

Perhaps this would reduce the contention that has caused massive public hearings. 

You will be reading a new summary developed by Ms Albuquerque, I would like to point out a misleading statement. It is implied that the State Density Bonus of extra units are supplying housing for low-income residents, quite the contrary the extra apartments and lofts are deluxe units to boost the developers bottom line. 

The City Clerk reports that 3,303 were good signatures were collected, more than one thousand better than the 2044 needed to qualify. This should indicate to you the need to support the Ordinance as it stands and give the community  


Martha Nicoloff