Berkeley Planning Commissioners will get their first official look at expansion plans for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories (LBNL) Wednesday night.
On Tuesday (today), a subcommittee of the panel helping to formulate a new plan for downtown Berkeley will discuss possible university developments both on and off campus.
Both meetings begin at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
LBNL will present the Planning Commission with their final draft of the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) through 2025.
The document proposes construction of nearly 1 million square feet of new buildings, some replacing older structures destined for the wrecking ball, and the addition of 1,000 new jobs.
“I’m very concerned about the cumulative impacts of this development along with all the other construction that’s planned nearby,” said commission Chair Helen Burke.
“The university is planning a lot of construction near Memorial Stadium and elsewhere on campus, as well as downtown,” she said. “All of this will impact the city and its services.”
The commission will also take up technical amendments to the recently passed regulations governing so-called by-right residential additions. Burke said the two proposed ordinances simply clean up elements missed in the revisions recently adopted by the commission and City Council.
Also up for action Wednesday is the election of new officers. If the commission follows precedent, Burke will be re-elected to the chair, as were each of her three predecessors.
Tuesday night’s meeting will be the fourth session of the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC) Subcommittee on City Interests in UC Properties.
The largest part of the meeting will focus on developing visions and concepts for the new downtown plan, which was mandated by the settlement of a city lawsuit challenging the university’s’ own LRDP through 2020.
Among the ideas to be considered will be what kinds of university uses the city might like to have downtown, along with their possible locations.
Members will also make recommendations about the possible scale of development on university-controlled sites downtown, as well as possible changes to the landscape crescent section of campus that faces Oxford Street at the main entrance to the campus and along the Oxford Street.
Members will also discuss possible changes to the Oxford Street right-of-way.
Subcommittee chair Dorothy Walker, a retired UC Berkeley administrator, has previously proposed a suggestion she said she realizes would be financially impossible—undergrounding much of the thoroughfare between campus and the city.
In addition to already announced plans for a major hotel at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street that would be built partly on land it owns, the university has announced plans to build a major art museum and film archive at the Oxford Street end of the same block.
Also planned for development is the site of the state Department of Health Services high-rise that occupies much of the long block bounded by Berkeley Way on the south, Hearst Avenue on the north, Oxford Street on the east and Shattuck Avenue on the west.
Much of the 800,000 square feet of new university uses could be contained on that single site, but many DAPAC members have expressed hopes that any new project there would include housing and perhaps a major retailer as well as university uses.