Planners to Ponder New Laws For Milo Foundation, Designs

By Ron Sullivan
Tuesday November 07, 2006

Planning commissioners will decide regulations rather than specific projects when they meet Wednesday. 

One item listed on the official agenda won’t be discussed, however—an amendment to the zoning ordinance governing pet adoption facilities. 

Deputy Planning Director Wendy Cosin said the proposed ordinance is an effort to resolve an ongoing dispute over the number of dogs allowed to be kept overnight at the Milo Foundation, but the planning staff won’t have the proposal ready to discuss Wednesday even though it’s on the agenda. 

The Berkeley animal adoption non-profit has been the center of a controversy with neighbors of its facilities at 1575 Solano Ave. 

The battle lines were revealed during meetings of the Zoning Adjustments Board, with some neighbors saying the foundation kept more animals than allowed by current laws and violated city codes by washing feces down the driveway and into street gutters and storm drains. 

Milo officials offered a compromise that would allow the Solano facility to keep no more than four dogs overnight, while adding soundproofing and a sewer connection. But the facility wouldn’t be able to continue functioning as currently operated without a change in the zoning ordinance, and both sides will have to wait until staff planners are able to study the issue more thoroughly and prepare a report, Cosin said. 

Ordinances changes that will be up for consideration Wednesday include: 

• A review of draft policy language for the city’s Pedestrian Master Plan; 

• A decision to set a public hearing on a new ordinance to clarify the role of the city’s Design Review Committee (DRC) and limit appeals of finally approved designs; 

• A decision to set a public hearing on another new ordinance that would spell out the DRC’s membership. 

Members will also hear a staff report on the Association of Bay Area Governments housing projections for 2007 and the group’s survey of regional housing needs. 

The meeting beings at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way.