Zoning Board to Consider Cell Phone Antenna Request

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday January 23, 2007

The Zoning Adjustments Board on Thursday will once again hear a request by Verizon Wireless and Nextel Communications for a use permit to construct a new wireless telecommunications facility for 18 cell phone antennas and related equipment atop the UC Storage building at 2721 Shattuck Ave. 

At the last meeting, city staff requested additional time to finalize and report on a third-party engineering review of the project. 

The item has met huge opposition from area residents in the past who have cited concerns related to health, parking and loading docks. Verizon and Nextel have argued in letters to the ZAB that the companies need the antennas in order to fill “holes” in their system. 

Other matters 

Berkeley Developer John Gordon will once again appear in front of the ZAB to request a use permit for the conversion of an existing commercial building (The Wright’s Garage Building) into a multi-tenant commercial building at 2629-2635 Ashby Ave. 

At the last meeting area residents had voiced concerns about parking problems they said could crop up from having a large-scale restaurant on the property. 

The board will also again hear a request for a use permit for a full service restaurant with beverage service of beer and wine with prepared food, including the retail sales of beer and wine, for In and Out Deli, at 2012 Shattuck Ave., and to extend hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. 

The board will also hear a request to increase alcohol service at Ethiopian Restaurant at 2953-2955 Telegraph Ave. by adding service of distilled spirits to the existing service of beer and wine , and to extend daily closing time from midnight to 2 a.m. 

The Jan. 25 meeting will include a Joint ZAB and Design Review meeting, which will start at 6 p.m. with a Green Building Workshop which will be presented by the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development.  

David Arkin, principal of Arkin Tilt Architects will discuss the principles, benefits and practice of green building, and Billi Romain, Green Building Coordinator with the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, will present the City of Berkeley’s green building requirements and incentive programs. 

The regular meeting of the ZAB will start at 7 p.m.