Public Comment

The City of Berkeley Allows Noisy Tenants to Move into "Nuisance" Building on Parker Street

By Gale Garcia
Monday August 29, 2011 - 10:31:00 PM

The former family home at 2133 Parker was allowed to be completed with 17 bedrooms (some of which are doubles, so there are probably at least 20 students living in it). This was despite the unanimous decision of July 14 by the ZAB that the project was determined to be a Group Living Accommodation (not allowed in R2A zones) and a nuisance. Multiple moving trucks blocked the street over a week or two while multiple students moved in. 

I truly believed that the owner, Ali Eslami, would caution the tenants to behave well until the nuisance matter goes before the City Council. I guess he didn’t bother, or maybe the crowd living there is so arrogant that they do not care. The very first weekend of occupancy, on August 12, residents were on the back deck yelling after midnight. 

The next weekend, residents were on the roof in the afternoon. This is possible because the illegal fourth floor provides them easy access. The owner was called and reportedly told the residents to stay off the roof. However, that night between 1:00 and 1:20 am, they were back on the roof, and others were on the back deck screaming. Police were called but did not respond. 

Last night the residents of 2133 Parker had a huge party. Fortunately the police responded this time and it was quieted by 2:00 am. 

Steve Buckley of the Planning staff had repeatedly told the ZAB that they couldn’t designate the project a nuisance until it was occupied (they ignored him, fortunately). But now that it is occupied, it could not be clearer. The reason Group Living Accommodations are not allowed in family neighborhoods is because if you pack a bunch of students into a small space, they go nuts and completely disregard anyone else’s rights. 

Gale Garcia lives in the LeConte neighborhood. This opinion was originally circulated to the LeConte Chat yahoo group.