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Dueling Meetings For Proposed Ashby BART Project By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday January 13, 2006

While city officials have called one public meeting to discuss plans for the proposed housing and commercial development at the Ashby BART station, concerned neighbors have called another of their own. 

The first meeting, organized by project neighbors, will be held on Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. at the South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis St. 

Speakers include Sam Dykes of the Alcatraz Avenue Merchants Association, former Mayor Shirley Dean, former Planning Commission Chair Zelda Bronstein, former Oakland City Councilmember Wilson Riles and Bob Brokl, who spearheaded the successful opposition to the recent North Oakland redevelopment proposal. 

A website featuring information about the project, gathered by Robert Lauriston who lives near the site, is available at 

The city-sponsored meeting will be held on Jan. 23 at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave., starting at 7 p.m. 

Officially titled “A BART Plaza and Transit Area Design Plan Workshop,” the meeting will be the first of several sessions held to help design a project proposal. 

The City Council approved a grant application seeking state funding to develop the project proposal in December. The project has already drawn opposition from the Community Services United (CSU), which operates the weekend Berkeley Flea Market that would be displaced by the project. 

CSU attorney Osha Neumann sent a six-page letter to the City Council Wednesday calling for the city to withdraw support for the grant application. 

The letter outlines detailed objections to the project and asks the city to prepare a feasibility study reflecting concerns and issues raised by the community and then provide an opportunity for the public to respond to the report. 

Neumann told the Daily Planet Wednesday that a city proposal to close down a stretch of Adeline Street on weekends to make room for the flea market was inadequate and was certain to garner opposition from business owners.