University Projects, Iceland Top Land Use Agendas

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday February 27, 2007

How can the city and UC Berkeley cooperate in planning uses in the university’s major downtown expansion plans that will benefit both town and gown? 

The subcommittee charged with figuring out possible answers is scheduled to wrap up its work tonight (Tuesday) before reporting back to the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC). 

The 7 p.m. session in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave., is one of three meetings of Berkeley land use commission slated this week. 

Last Wednesday night, David Stoloff assumed the chair of the Planning Commission after ousting Helen Burke two weeks ago. The light agenda features two action items. a public hearing on Telegraph Avenue business hours and uses and a discussion of regional housing needs goals for the city soon to be imposed by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). 

That meeting begins at 7 p.m., also at the North Berkeley Senior Center, though in the downstairs dining room rather than upstairs, where DAPAC meets. 


Landmarks Commission 

Thursday’s meeting is downstairs also, though it begins a half-hour later, and features the fullest agenda. 

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will hold hearings on petitions to landmark Berkeley’s Iceland, a de facto landmark facing imminent closure, and to approve alterations to the Southern Pacific railroad station at 700 University Ave. and the former Dakin Warehouse at 2750 Adeline St. 

Commissioners will also set public hearings on applications to landmark the old Berkeley High School Gymnasium at 1920 Allston Way, the structure which houses the city’s Warm Water Pool and which is slated for demolition by the Berkeley Unified School District. 

Among the other items on the LPC agenda will be a discussion of the draft Environmental Impact Report for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Long Range Development Plan which covers the years through 2025. 

The LPC, along with the Planning, Transportation and Community Health commissions, will hold a joint March 14 public hearing on the lab’s plans to add 980,000 square feet of new construction, between 375 and 500 new parking spaces and 1,000 new employees. 

The lab will also house some of the research connected with the new $500 million agreement negotiated by the university, BP (the former British Petroleum) and the University of Illinois to create genetically modified grass and termite-derived microbes to produce ethanol.