Berkeley Council Declares House a Public Nuisance

Tuesday January 31, 2012 - 09:58:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council, in a vote where several councilmembers chose to abstain, passed a resolution declaring a drastically expanded house at 2133 Parker a public nuisance.  

The owner had increased the number of bedrooms to 19 and added a fourth floor with a door opening on to an unfenced roof.  

Police have been called on several occasions because of neighbors' complaints about wild parties and excessive noise. 

The resolution required that in order to abate the nuisance the owner must reduce the number of bedrooms to 7, in compliance with the area's zoning. Another requirement, to remove the fourth floor, also a zoning violation, was proposed by Councilmember Arreguin, but was withdrawn by the maker after other councilmembers expressed doubts about whether that requirement would pass muster in a lawsuit. 

Councilmembers Maio, Wengraf, Capitelli and Bates abstained, saying that they feared the owner would sue the city, apparently because of mistakes made by the city's Planning Department in approving the changes to the house in the first place. They favored a competing resolution, introduced by Capitelli, to take no action at this time and wait for further problematic behavior to occur before considering whether the house was indeed a public nuisance. 

Yes votes were recorded by Councilmembers Wozniak, Arreguin, Worthington, Moore and Anderson, the maker of the motion to pass the resolution, in whose district the house is located.