LeConte Neighbors Plan to Appeal Use Permit for 2516 Ellsworth

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Tuesday July 10, 2007

A group of LeConte neighbors are planning to appeal an administrative use permit to construct an addition to a one-story two-unit building at 2516 Ellsworth St. at the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting Thursday. 

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The current building exists right on the border of a higher-density and a lower-density residential zone. 

Area residents are worried that the proposed building, which will become a dorm for UC Berkeley students, will produce noise, shadow and privacy impacts on the neighborhood.  

Applicant William Coburn Architects of Oakland wants to construct a 2,974-square-foot addition to an existing 903-square-foot one-story, two-unit building by expanding the footprint toward the rear yard and raising the existing house. The proposed expansion will increase the units from two to 14.  

The board will decide whether to set the issue for public hearing.  


Other items 

• The board will a hold a preliminary consideration of a use permit for the 1819 Fifth St. Pads Project.  

Applicants Liz Miranda and Timothy Rempel of Fifth Street have requested a permit to construct a mixed-use project which involves renovation and modification of an existing building at 1819 Fifth St., with four live-work units, 10 residential condominium units, 11 commercial units (7,298 square feet), 27 parking spaces and a new four-story construction. 

Although state laws mandate that the project should not receive more than a 15 percent density bonus, staff suggests that it should receive 35 percent. 

There is strong opposition from West Berkeley neighbors who have submitted a petition against the project. Area residents are concerned that the height and the mass of the proposed project will be out of character with the rest of the neighborhood. 

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is concerned about its impact on the Delaware Street Historic District. 

Staff recommends that the ZAB comment on the project’s bulk, mass and proposed concessions. 

• The board will vote on whether to approve a use permit to demolish an existing automotive repair shop and surface parking lot to construct a four-story, mixed-use building with 18 condominium dwelling units, 2,370 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a 25-space parking garage at 2720 San Pablo Ave.