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Berkeley can choose whether to grow up

Tom Brown, Berkeley
Tuesday October 01, 2002

To the Editor: 

I chuckled over the predictably hysterical letter against Measure P from “Berkeley Design Advocates” (Sept. 25 Daily Planet Forum). This group has no credibility. By my recollection, it has endorsed every blockbusting, out-of-scale development proposal made in Berkeley in recent years. 

Having never met a high-rise it didn't like, BDA has helped foster the pro-developer climate in which Measure P became necessary. The group apparently exists solely to promote job security – or retirement security – for architects who can't win commissions for the contextually appropriate projects that Measure P will promote. 

But more importantly: The governor last week signed AB 2292, a vaguely written bill that was strongly opposed by California cities. When it becomes law next year, AB 2292 will make it significantly harder for cities to ever again downzone any parcel of land. 

If Berkeley residents want to maintain control over our neighborhoods' density and livability, our most prudent course would be to pass Measure P on Nov. 5 – while we still can. We can always choose to later revise density upwards; but we will soon lose the option to revise it downwards. 


Tom Brown