Planning Commission Faces Full Agenda Wednesday

by Richard Brenneman
Monday November 03, 2008 - 08:49:00 PM

The day after one of their own learns whether she’ll move up a notch in city government, Berkeley planning commissioners will gather Wednesday night to face a full agenda. 

Member Susan Wengraf has been busy running to replace Betty Olds on the City Council when the incumbent retires at the end of her current term. 

Wengraf has served as an aide to Olds, who also appointed her to the commission. 

Wednesday night’s agenda is freighted with heavy issues, ranging from amendments to city law governing placing of cell phone system antennae to a new ordinance that would allow churches to keep the ashes of parishioners on site. 

Also up for discussion is the proposed new housing element for the city’s General Plan and the completion of the commission’s review of the Downtown Area Plan chapter on access. 

The proposed new regulation for columbaria—repositories for human ashes—is only up for the purpose of setting a hearing on the proposed ordinance, which was sponsored by City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli at the request of Northbrae Community Church. The proposed revision would allow columbaria to be established as incidental to regular church uses.