Flash: Council Kills Landmark Law Revisions Pending Election

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday July 25, 2006

In an abrupt reversal, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to table the revised Landmarks Preservation Ordinance (LPO) it had passed on first reading July 11. 

An ordinance must be passed on two separate readings before it can become law. 

“We’ll drop it this evening and see what happens with the initiative,” said Mayor Tom Bates, the driving force behind the tabled measure. 

The initiative he cited was drafted by proponents of the city’s current ordinance, and makes minor changes to ensure the LPO complies with state laws governing building permits and landmarks. Berkeley residents will be vote on it Nov. 7. 

“Given the council’s action, we’ll have to rewrite our ballot statements,” said Roger Marquis, one of the initiative’s two principal sponsors. 

The draft statements they had submitted were focused on the now-withdrawn Bates-Capitelli legislation. 

The statements prepared by the city face the same problem, since City Attorney Manuela Albuquerque had drafted them on the presumption that the Bates measure, co-sponsored by Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, would be the law by election time. 

Marquis said initiative backers will have their revised statements ready to submit by Monday or Tuesday at the latest, and the city council has set a meeting for 5 p.m. Tuesday to approve the city attorney’s revisions.