Hudson-McDonald Presses ZAB For 148-Unit Trader Joe’s Building

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday November 07, 2006

The Zoning Adjustments Board will review the Kragen/Trader Joe’s project at 1885 University Ave. on Thursday. 

Berkeley-based developers Evan McDonald and Chris Hudson will request the board to give preliminary consideration to a modified design that will allow construction of a mixed-use development with 148 dwelling units, 14,390 square feet of retail, and 157 parking spaces in a two-level parking garage  

The current plan also calls for the existing commercial building at 1885 University Ave. to be demolished. The site, which is located on a one-acre lot bounded by University, Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Berkeley Way, borders commercial space and residences. 

In the past, community members have raised concerns over how the city would apply the state’s affordable housing density bonus statute toward the project and also over issues related to traffic, building mass and height. 

The staff has recommended that the board open the issue for public hearing, take testimony and then continue it to a future ZAB meeting. 

The ZAB will also hear a request for a use permit modification for 2076 Ashby Ave., which would change the east side of an existing three-story mixed-use building from stucco to horizontal siding. 

Currently, the attorney for U.S. Smog and Gas, next door, is refusing to let the applicant do any further construction on the property, claiming that it would encroach on the public right of way. 

At the Oct. 26 ZAB meeting, the board asked the applicant to conform to his original plans or rework them so that the insulation of the water meter and the gas meter is aesthetically pleasing. 

The board will also hear a use permit modification request to allow the expansion of the South Berkeley Police Substation at 3192 Adeline St. for employee lockers and vehicle storage.  

At the Oct. 26 board meeting the applicant had told the board that they required more time to meet with the neighbors. The matter had first come up at the ZAB on Sept. 14. 


Other agenda items include: 

• Request by Oxford Street Development for a use permit modification to reduce the number of parking spaces in the underground garage of an approved mixed-use project on 2200 Oxford St. 

• Request by A. Ali Eslami for a use permit to expand the kitchen and interior seating area of the Missouri Lounge, add outdoor seating, reconfigure and reduce the required parking, and expand alcohol service to new seating areas on 2600 San Pablo Ave. 

• Request by Jamal Fares for a use permit to establish a 500-square-foot carry-out food service store in existing commercial space with no off-street parking at 1842 Euclid Ave.  

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers in the Maudelle Shirek Building (Old City Hall) at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.