Brower Center on ZAB, Planning Agendas By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday June 21, 2005

Plans for the new David Brower Center and Oxford Plaza affordable housing complex will be presented at both the City of Berkeley Planning Commission and the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) this week. 

The project consists of two buildings—one housing environmental organizations and the other housing low-income tenants. 

Planning commissioners Wednesday will consider proposed amendments to the city’s Downtown Plan that would allow the buildings to add two additional floors above the three-story limit now imposed along Oxford/Fulton Street facing the UC Berkeley Campus. 

Planning commissioners are also being asked to provide comments on the project’s proposed mitigated negative declaration, an environmental document that spells out remedies for adverse impacts likely to arise from the project. 

The commission is also scheduled to act on zoning amendments that would ease permitting thresholds for home-based teaching and an update to the housing element of the General Plan. 

The commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. 

Preceding the meeting at 6:30 p.m. will be a joint workshop of the Planning and Parks and Recreation Commissions on the Gilman Street ball fields and proposed amendments to the Specific Plan Zoning District and the Waterfront Plan required before the project can be developed. 

The Brower Center appears on Thursday night’s ZAB agenda only as an informational item to give the board a preview of the project they’ll be voting on later. 

Items appearing on ZAB action agenda include a final vote on a controversial three-story “popup” condominium project at 2901 Otis St., an addition to a home at 2235 Derby St., and a proposal for a cellular phone antenna at 611 Hearst Ave. 

ZAB members will also get a preview of revised plans for a 29-unit five-story condominium project at 2701 Shattuck Ave. and are being asked to advise planning staff about a duplex and cottage project planned for 1532 Martin Luther King. Jr. Way. 

The ZAB meeting begins at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.