Zoning Board Agenda

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday August 14, 2008 - 08:53:00 AM

San Raphael-based Wareham Development will brief the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board Thursday about its plan to demolish the landmarked Copra Warehouse (Durkee Famous Foods) in West Berkeley to make way for the construction of a four-story, 100,000-square-foot research and laboratory building. 

Wareham’s proposal was criticized by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission at a meeting last month. Commissioners described the project as “too big” for the neighborhood. 

Some expressed concern that the height of the planned building—89 feet—would be almost double what zoning currently allows in West Berkeley. 

Although Wareham proposes to preserve a single brick facade, the commission stressed that this alone would not be enough to retain the building’s past glory. 

Wareham company officials contended at the LPC meeting that costs for rehabilitating the warehouse would be prohibitive, and that the need for laboratory space was driven by current market demands. 

Wareham is scheduled to return to the landmarks commission and the zoning board with a formal application for the project at a later date. 


2002 Acton St. 

Verizon Wireless will ask the zoning board to approve a use permit for a new wireless telecommunications facility—including six antennas and related equipment—on top of a five-story mixed-use building at 2002 Acton. 

Zoning staff had not received any objections from neighbors or community members about the project at the time the staff report was written. 


1200 Ashby Ave. 

Berkeley-based developer Ali Kashani of Memar Properties will brief the zoning board on his plans to construct a five-story mixed-use building with 98 residential condo units, 11,900 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and 135 parking spaces on a 34, 210 square foot lot at 1200 Ashby. 

Some area residents have raised concerns about parking and traffic at two community meetings held by the developer. 


The meeting is scheduled to be held on August 14, Thursday, at Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 7 p.m.