Berkeley Briefs

Friday December 12, 2003

Planners Ponder Second Berkeley Bowl 

Berkeley’s Planning Commission took their first look this week at the project that may eventually become a second Berkeley Bowl Supermarket, and their staff told them considerable General Plan and zoning hurdles stand in the way of the proposed West Berkeley store. 

Kava Massih Architects of Berkeley, on behalf of the Berkeley Bowl’s owners, is seeking an amendment to the General Plan that would allow a 55,000-square-foot store at the corner of Ninth Street and Heinz Avenue, some 13,000 square feet larger than the Bowl’s Oregon Street store. 

The Bowl’s owners haven’t indicated any plans to close the original store. 

Currently the West Berkeley Plan and the location’s current Mixed Use-Light Industrial (MU-LI) zoning designation would bar building the second store, which is expected to cater to traffic coming directly off I-80. A proposed 30,000-square-foot warehouse annex to the West Berkeley store would be allowed, however. 

Planning Commissioners expressed some reluctance to amend the General Plan—which covers zoning and development throughout Berkeley—and worried that changing the zoning ordinance to accommodate Berkeley Bowl would leave the project site open for a less desirable supermarket—Safeway was mentioned—should Berkeley Bowl change its mind. 

Commissioners directed staff to come back next month with several alternative scenarios, including changing MU-LI zoning to allow large retail, rezoning the area of Ninth Street and Heinz Avenue to another designation that would allow the store, or legalizing the store under a zoning variance. 

—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor 


Edley Named Boalt Hall Dean 

Christopher Edley Jr. became the first African American to lead a top-ranked law school Thursday when the University of California, Berkeley named him dean of Boalt Hall. 

Edley, a Harvard Law School professor, served in both the Clinton and Carter administrations and currently sits on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. 

He is the founding co-director of the Civil Rights Project, a multidisciplinary research and policy think tank whose research was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action at the University of Michigan. 

Under Clinton, Edley served as a special counsel who led the White House’s review of affirmative action. He was also the Office of Management and Budget’s associate director for economics and government. Under Carter he served as the assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff.  

According to a statement released by UC Berkeley, Edley’s research primarily focuses on issues of racial justice and the struggle to define equity, fairness and opportunity in a multi-racial context. 

In addition to his seat on the Commission on Civil Rights he also serves on several panels of the National Research Council, the research section of the National Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform and is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. 

Edley is the son of Christopher Edley Sr., a lawyer who headed the United Negro College Fund. His wife, Maria Echaveste, is a well-known lawyer who served as White House deputy chief of staff under Clinton and currently runs a public policy and political strategy consulting firm in Washington D.C. She will be joining Edley at UCB as a researcher and lecturer at Boalt and the Goldman Graduate School of Public Policy. She and Edley are also volunteer policy advisors to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean. 

—Jakob Schiller