Glen Yasuda is asking city planning commissioners to put his plans for a new Berkeley Bowl on hold for a month while he prepares a new application.
The hitch for Yasuda is his proposal to use a new warehouse at the proposed Ninth Street and Heinz Avenue location to keep foods for both the new store and for his existing location at Oregon Street and Shattuck Avenue.
It all boils down to a matter of zoning.
To build his new grocery store, Yasuda needs the commission to rezone the West Berkeley site from manufacturing and light industrial (MU-LI) to West Berkeley Commercial (C-W).
The only problem is that warehouses, while permitted under the existing zoning, aren’t allowed in C-W zones.
In a memorandum to planning commissioners, city Land Use Planning Manager Mark Rhoades wrote that Yasuda’s solution is to divide the property into two zoning parcels, C-W for the store and MU-LI for the warehouse section.
“The amended application will also request an amendment” to the MU-LI uses to allow a warehouse exemption for food product stores.
Yasuda now needs to prepare a revised application, a new environmental initial study and a revised project map.
The revision would also trigger a new public hearing.
Yasuda’s rezoning plans and the traffic his new store would generate have drawn mixed reactions in West Berkeley, where some residents welcome the store as filling a neighborhood need while others fear the loss of the MU-LI uses which are mandated in the existing West Berkeley Plan.
If Yasuda has his way, commissioners will pull the project from their agenda when they meet Wednesday night at 7 o’clock in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave.
Yasuda has asked that the hearing be rescheduled for the commission’s March 23 meeting.