City Clerk Confirms 9,200 Signatures Submitted for Downtown Plan Referendum; Verification Process to Begin
The Berkeley city clerk’s office confirmed Thursday evening that approximately 9,200 signatures were submitted to her office on Thursday afternoon on petitions calling for a referendum on Downtown Area Plan.
Berkeley City Councilmembers Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguín, the two lone dissenting votes when the council passed the Downtown Area Plan last month, immediately declared victory in the petition drive.
A minimum of 5,558 valid signatures of registered Berkeley voters are needed to invalidate the plan.
City Clerk Deanna Despain said that the petition signatures are being turned over to the Alameda County Registrar of Voters for verification, with a completion deadline of Oct. 2.
Berkeley Planning Commissioner Patti Dacey, a member of the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee that wrote the original version of the Downtown Area Plan and an opponent of the version passed by the council, said her official response to the successful completion of the petition drive was “Yay!” Dacey said by telephone on Friday morning that she believed “this was the most signatures ever gathered in a petition campaign in Berkeley. The people of Berkeley stepped up to the plate. I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Dacey expressed confidence that the Registrar of Voters office would certify a valid number of signatures to overturn the Downtown Area Plan, saying that “we did our own verification as we went along. We had way more than we need."