Zoning Board to Review Pacific Steel Use Permit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday September 10, 2009 - 12:14:00 PM

The Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board will review Pacific Steel Casting’s use permit at a public meeting Thursday, Sept. 10. 

According to a report prepared by the city’s planning staff, Pacific Steel, located at 1421 Second St., is not in violation of its use permit.  

On June 25, the board received the steel foundry’s annual performance report regarding whether or not it was in compliance with the conditions of approval on its use permit. 

At that meeting, zoning board members raised certain questions about the use permit and asked for clarification on certain points. 

The latest report by city planning staff begins with a summary of the history of the project and the permit, current compliance status, a brief overview of the changes in the operation and staffing as reflected by the last three performance reports and a response to the zoning board’s questions.  

Pacific Steel has been battling with neighbors and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for more than 20 years on charges ranging from exceeding emission standards to creating a public nuisance. 

The foundry was forced to lay off more than 300 workers recently because of low steel production during the recession. 

The report prepared by the city staff shows that there have been significant decreases in overall output (10 percent) and number of employees (30 percent), especially those employed during the evening and graveyard shifts.  

The meeting is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m., Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.