Public Comment

Proposed Zoning Law Change Would Curtail Public Participation

Thomas Lord
Sunday December 03, 2017 - 03:53:00 PM

At the December 5 meeting, City Council will take up a matter continued from November 28: Item C titled 1 “Ministerial Approval of Zoning-Compliant Affordable Housing”. The item proposes that two public interests are at odds:

• early public participation in the land use entitlement process vs.

• the development of privately operated subsidized housing.

Item C proposes to sacrifice the former for the sake of the latter. This council item is admirable in its intent, which is to better facilitate the creation of housing offered at affordable prices. Unfortunately, the item is based on a misreading of the research it cites. It is also not supported by any analysis of Berkeley’s own conditions. My analysis suggests that the item is unlikely to advance its stated aim. Worse, as written, it is virtually certain to have negative consquences. I recommended that the item be amended as described below and then passed, but that it not be passed in its present form.

For the full analysis, click here.