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City Mandates EIR to Cover Proposed West Berkeley Bowl By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday April 19, 2005

Berkeley City Planner Dan Marks has ordered Berkeley Bowl owner Glen Yasuda to prepare an environmental impact report (EIR) on his plans to construct a new Berkeley Bowl at Ninth Street and Heinz Avenue. 

“We’re not sure what impact this will have on the project,” said architect Kava Massih, who is designing the complex for Yasuda. 

Critics of the project, including John Curl of the West Berkeley Association of Industrial Companies (WeBAIC), and Zelda Bronstein, former chair of the Planning Commission, have called for the report because of the store’s potential impact on new commercial development in West Berkeley. 

Critics have charged that the project’s need to convert land currently zoned for manufacturing and light industrial (MU-LI) uses to commercial use would violate the West Berkeley Plan, which calls for preservation of existing MU-LI property. 

Other critics, including Mary Lou Van De Venter of Urban Ore, have also cited what they claim would be excessive impacts on traffic and parking in the congested Ashby Avenue corridor. 

Massih said the EIR will address “traffic, parking and all the other environmental issues.” 

He said the report will probably be completed by October or November, when the project will then head back to the Planning Commission—which must approve zoning changes—and the Zoning Adjustments Board, which authorizes use permits.