Density Bonuses, Creeks and Liquor Store on Land Use Meeting Agendas By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Tuesday January 24, 2006

Density bonuses, West Berkeley zoning changes and creeks are among the land use issues city officials will be considering this week. 

A Tuesday afternoon session in the city’s Permit Service Center brings together representatives of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) and the Planning and Housing Advisory commissions to hear recommendations for changing the city’s controversial density bonus ordinance. 

The joint committee was launched after ZAB formed a subcommittee to study the bonus, which some critics charged had been applied by city staff in a way that allows much larger buildings than intended by the city’s plan and zoning ordinance. 

ZAB members Bob Allen and Dave Blake will present the ZAB subcommittee’s recommendations on commercial space allocation and parking lifts. 

The panel will also consider the potential impacts of inclusionary regulation changes. 

The meeting will be held from 3-5:30 p.m. in the Permit Center’s Sitka Spruce Conference Room, 2120 Milvia St. 


Planning Commission 

Wednesday night the Planning Commission will hold the second of its workshops on proposals to change zoning in West Berkeley to allow car dealerships to move into areas now zoned for industrial and manufacturing use. 

The impending loss of two dealerships and the sales taxes they bring have prompted Mayor Tom Bates and city staff to consider allowing dealerships to locate along the freeway as one means of keeping them in the city. 

The Planning Commission, which meets at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave., will also conduct a workshop on preliminary recommendations of the city’s Creeks Task Force. 

The commission will also hear an update on the Southside Plan. 


Zoning Adjustments Board 

ZAB meets Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers in Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The main item on the agenda is Black & White Liquor Store at 3027 Adeline St. ZAB members have already declared the store a public nuisance—based in part on neighborhood complaints and in part on the store’s licensing problems. 

ZAB members will hear from neighbors and decide what conditions to impose on the corner store. 

Deputy City Attorney Zac Cowan said he expects ZAB will impose new hours and require the hiring of private security. Another likely requirement would have the store pack purchases in bags bearing the store’s name.