By a 7-0-2 vote, the Berkeley Planning Commission accepted the proposed 25-member UC Hotel Complex Task Force Wednesday night, despite grumbling by some commission members that the entire commission should have picked the task force members from scratch or that the task force wasn’t even necessary at all. Planning Commissioner Jerome Wiggins, one of two commissioners to abstain on the acceptance vote, complained that the task force did not contain any residents of South Berkeley. Commissioners added an amendment leaving open the possibility of adding more members.
The University of California has proposed building a 12-story hotel, conference center, and museum center on the downtown Shattuck Street block presently occupied by a Bank of America branch.
Last Saturday morning, representatives of the University led Task Force members and other members of the public on a tour of the site, fielding questions about the project.
The UC Hotel Complex Task Force now plans a public presentation of the proposed UC project at a February 18th meeting, to be held at 7 pm at the North Berkeley Senior Center. The public is invited to attend, ask questions, and make comments.
—J. Douglas Allen-Taylor