New: Claims in Application for 2211 Way Are Not Correct, According to Surveyor

Charlene M. Woodcock
Wednesday August 26, 2015 - 01:20:00 PM

an open letter to members of the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board

1) My concern is with the ongoing effort of the developers of 2211 Harold Way to downplay the height and volume of this proposed building and the failure to provide story poles to demonstrate its dimensions. Every architect's drawing and certainly the model brought to the ZAB, DRC, and LPC meetings show the proposed building to be about the same height as the Great Western and Wells Fargo buildings and thus in keeping with the DAP height limits.

However, it is obvious that an 18-story building is by necessity taller than a 12- or 14-story building, the height of our existing tall buildings downtown. Given this puzzle, and the repeated statements in the 2010 Measure R and the Downtown Area Plan that our existing tall buildings are 180 feet, I asked a surveyor to give us precise measurements for those buildings, since their height dictates the height of any new tall downtown buildings.

The result shows that they are indeed more than 10 feet shorter to the roofline than the proposed 2211 Harold Way building.See the surveyor's letter here. 

2) I hope during the 8/27 6 to 7 PM working session on this project that the developer will explain why the Use Permit #13-10000010 application fails to include the 1958 addition to the landmarked Shattuck Hotel/Hink's building, the postal annex? The entire block is landmarked and the three additions are interconnected. 

3) The ZAB needs to clarify for the developer the distinction between Significant Community Benefits and the mitigation of a detriment. The proposal to demolish the economic and cultural magnet that anchors our downtown, the Shattuck Cinemas (which sell 275 to 300,000 tickets per year), is a detriment that is only inadequately mitigated by his new plan to include 10 screening rooms, many of them in the deep basement with fewer seats than the theaters now have. The July 30 Berkeleyside quotes Penner as follows: "Penner agreed to add the theaters, but told the city of Berkeley that the inclusion should count as part of the project’s 'significant community benefits.'"