Telegraph Zoning Changes Face Planning Commission

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday January 23, 2007

Stores on economically ailing Telegraph Avenue will be allowed to keep longer hours and many new businesses there will find permits easier to get under new zoning ordinances to be considered by the Planning Commission Wednesday. 

The changes, dubbed the Zoning Ordinance for Telegraph Avenue Economic Assistance, are the subject of a public hearing that is the first action item listed for the session that begins at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. 

The changes would allow business that don’t serve alcohol to extend their hours of operation from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 10 p.m. to midnight on other nights. 

Business that serve or sell alcohol would also be allowed longer hours, form 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, with longer hours permissible with a use permit. 

Other changes would reduce the requirements for most new business from a use permit, which requires approval by the Zoning Adjustments Board to an administrative use permit, which can be granted by city staff. 

The measure would make it easier for businesses to win permission to exceed quotas established for the district and would ease restrictions on reconfiguring existing business premises into larger or smaller spaces. 

Commissioners will also hold a hearing on the subdivision map needed before the 16 units in the new building at 2628 Telegraph Ave. can be sold as condominiums, and they are scheduled for a hearing on zoning ordinance amendments changing procedures for appeals from decisions of the Design Review Committee. 

The final item on the agenda is a report on the Creeks Ordinance which took effect on Jan. 4.