Zoning Board Approves Arpeggio Building Changes

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday May 15, 2007

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) approved a use permit to establish a 24-Seven fitness center of approximately 2,000 sq. ft. in an existing commercial building at 1775 Solano Ave., but decided to discuss its parking provisions as an informational item at the next ZAB meeting. 

The proposed plan shows no off-street parking available on the site, indicating that parking would have to be accommodated in nearby street spaces. Board member Jesse Arreguin abstained from approving the request since he was not comfortable with the information available on parking. 


Other action 

• The board approved a use permit to convert the basement of a house at 1459 Kains Ave. to an apartment. 

The proposed plan involves excavating the basement approximately 4.25 feet to create an 8-foot ceiling clearance for the new two-bedroom unit. The building’s current mass or volume would not be subject to any change. The existing rear yard would be used for parking and open space, and the south side yard would be converted to a driveway to accommodate the requirements for two off-street parking spaces and 800 square feet of usable open space. 

• It approved a use permit request by Jinwoo Kim to establish Ryno’s Yogurt—a carry-out frozen yogurt store—on Telegraph Ave., to remain open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

• It also approved a request for a use permit by Planning Commissoner Harry Pollack of Berkeley to demolish an approximately 3,625-square-foot two-story abandoned service station building and two dispenser pads to allow for further testing and remediation at 3001 Telegraph Ave.  

• The board approved a request for a use permit to update a plan to modify the building facades and floor plans for 2041-2067 Center St., the building originally called the Seagate, but now The Arpeggio under new owners. 

The first use permit, to demolish the existing buildings in the lot to allow the construction of a 186,151-square-foot, nine-story, mixed-use building, with 149 units, 5,765 square feet of retail, a 12,067-square-foot cultural and 141-160 underground parking spaces, was approved in October 2004. 

The Berkeley Repertory Theater (BRT) will be the primary tenant of the building’s cultural space, and according to the staff report will present at least 48 performances there annually. Additionally, BRT will also make this space available at below market rent to other non-profit community organizations for at least 52 days every year. 

The new plan proposes to decrease the number of residential units—which have been designed in a New York loft style—to 143. Although the total unit count has dropped by 4 percent, no change has been proposed in the number of inclusionary units (23).