West Berkeley, Housing, Signs Top Planning Commission Slate

By Richard Brenneman
Friday June 19, 2009 - 02:25:00 PM

Housing, West Berkeley and signs will be on the minds and lips of planning commissioners when they meet for their final June meeting Wednesday night, June 24. 

With the City Council pushing for zoning ordinance changes in West Berkeley to ease development of high-tech and bio-tech start-up companies, commissioners are scheduled to vote on calling a July 22 public hearing on so-called fast track changes sought by the council. 

Among the changes suggested by councilmembers had been new rules to permit child care in manufacturing and light industrial zones—a probable non-starter considering concerns raised by commissioners earlier this month—as well as allowing some retail sales at manufacturing and warehouse sites, new rules to allow existing sites to be subdivided more readily into more diversity of uses, reduction of parking requirements and freedom to interchange uses of protected manufacturing, warehouse, whole and recycling operations. 

The commission will also consider a staff report on possible constraints on allowing permits for new housing as required to meet regional government goals set by the Association of Bay Area Governments. 

The final item on the agenda will be a discussion of possible changes to the city’s sign ordinance. 

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. and Martin Luther King Jr. Way. 

The agenda is available online at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=40176.