ZAB Addresses Residential Use Permits

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday October 03, 2006

The Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) addressed issues concerning residential use permits on Thursday. 

Neighbors of 157 and 161 Vicente Road spoke against the two single-family dwellings that were being proposed at these addresses in the Berkeley Hills, stating concerns such as privacy, views, security and fencing between homes and noise and light disturbances from the garages. 

“We are totally against the proposed box-like structure. We prefer something floating,” said Alyssa Wang, a resident of 151 Vicente.  

Georgia Wright, who has lived at 105 Vicente since 1967, spoke about the valuable view and privacy that would be lost if the construction took place.  

“For us across the street who don’t have too much of a view, the creek’s vegetation provides our only delight,” she said. “The size of the proposed houses would take that away. Add to that the constant car doors slamming, the engines roaring and the headlights blaring into our rooms. We want the board to reject this design.” 

A resident of 95 Vicente Road stated that the building design did not blend in with the rest of the neighborhood’s character and said he was concerned about the high noise levels and light visibility that would result from the project.  

Board member Bob Allen said that he could not find enough credibility in the neighbors’ objections. “It looks like a typical Berkeley music chair where the last one gets ganged up upon,” he said. 

The board approved the construction of the two single-family residential units but requested an addition of a six-feet high fence that would separate the property from 151 Vicente.  

The project on 1628 Carleton St. was continued to the next ZAB hearing. The owner, Darrell Rupe, wanted a use permit to demolish an existing single-family dwelling and construct a new one, but the board decided that it did not have the appropriate variance findings to grant the bearings for it.