Downtown Plan Hearing Set for Monday Evening

By Richard Brenneman
Thursday April 02, 2009 - 01:26:00 PM

Friends and foes of the Planning Commission’s rewrite of the Downtown Area Plan can share their views with commissioners during a special hearing Monday night, April 6. 

The session, which begins at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave., follows on the commission’s three-hour tweaking April 1. 

The document—114 pages, of text plus an additional 14 pages of maps and diagrams—was prepared, as its cover notes, by the “City of Berkeley in cooperation with the University of California.” 

The Planning Commission and city staff have significantly revised the original version, prepared by the City Council-appointed Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC), dramatically heightening the skyline and expanding the area where taller buildings will be permissible. 

Both the DAPAC and commission versions will go to the City Council, with the university having veto power over the final version—the result of a controversial settlement agreement that ended a lawsuit between the city and UC Berkeley over impacts of 850,000 square feet of building the school plans off-campus in the heart of the city. 

The plan, minus the tables, is available for viewing online at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=10828.