Planners Tackle Creeks Group Representation, Stadium

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 30, 2006

The Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday centered on two main issues. 

The first was whether Helen Burke should represent the Creeks Task Force at the Berkeley City Council hearing on the creeks on Tuesday. 

The second was UC Berkeley’s Southeast Campus Integrated Projects (SCIP) draft environmental impact report, especially the California Memorial Stadium parking issue.  

Commission member Harry Pollack asked whether current Planning Commission Chair and Creeks Task Force Chair Helen Burke would represent the Planning Commission majority. 

Burke retorted that she would be representing the Creeks Task Force at the City Council and David Stoloff, Planning Commission Vice Chair, would be representing the Planning Commission. Helen Burke has been chair of the Creeks Task Force since its initiation. 

“It is not the business of the Planning Commission to tell the Creeks Task Force who or what should represent them,” she said. “This is an unwarranted attack on my ability as chair of the Creeks Task Force to represent their ideas at the City Council. If my opinion is asked, I plan to indicate how the Planning Commission recommendations can fit with the Creeks Task Force recommendations.” 


Memorial Stadium 

Commission member Susan Wengraf asked what the impact of the UC Berkeley’s SCIP would be on the city of Berkeley. 

Jennifer Lawrence, a planner with UC Berkeley, and Richard Randall, who was in charge of the CMS Project, were at the meeting.  

“I can’t even imagine what a nightmare parking would become especially during the weekends, when there are games or shows going on there,” Wengraf said. “There is bound to be at least 900 people using cars alone. How are people going to come in and out of there?” 

Stoloff commented that residents tend to feel trapped during major activities at the stadium and that there ought to be a way for the university to address this additional impact on neighborhood traffic.  

A member of the Panoramic Hill Neighborhood Association had sent a letter to the board saying that there needed to be a second emergency road for fire truck access on Panoramic Hill. 

Fredrica Drotos, another member of the association, told the commission the parking garage for the stadium needed to be located away from the residential part of the city.