Berkeley Neighborhoods Council

 

Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all
by creating a unified neighborhood voice
for promoting livability and resolving problems

 

Berkeley Neighborhoods Council (BNC) eNEWS:  Issue 11, Late July to mid-August 2014

Note:  For those of you who keep track, we are not calling the Special Edition posted in July an eNEWS issue — it should be regarded as a precursor to this edition.

Each time we reach the point of posting another issue, we breathe a sigh of exhaustion and at the same time, a renewed commitment to continue.  Trying to keep up with the turns and twists of this community is not easy and recalls that old statement that Living in Berkeley Wears you Down.  Some believe that is why so many people seem to be opting out of civic engagement.  BNC is very concerned that so many people are not connecting with each other and their City, but there is no easy answer as to why.

BNC is an organization that believes that Living in Berkeley is a Privilege — its beauty, great university, interesting people, exciting culture, and natural environment.  As is true of all great cities, Berkeley is a city of neighborhoods.  Once upon a time, our City proudly proclaimed that — but unfortunately lately that thread seems to be getting thinner.  In response, BNC formed with the purpose of restoring the voice of the neighborhoods in City decision-making.  To do that we need your participation.  We need to be united, but at the very same time, we need to understand that not all neighborhoods will always agree.  BNC will always hold the promise of civil and open engagement on the issues and a desire to reach consensus.  With your help we have embarked on an ambitious plan to protect our neighborhoods.  To implement that plan we need all of you to be a part of a positive, goal-oriented movement by attending meetings, voicing your concerns and helping find real solutions.  So, we ask that you:

  1. Spread the Neighborhood News:
  2. Send an e-mail to bnc50@berkeleyneighborhoodscouncil.com and enter “Subscribe” in the subject line.

    Distribute the BNC eNEWS to your neighborhood and personal e-mail lists with the same message regarding “Subscribe.”

    Alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS Feed and share it with your friends and neighbors.

    Subscribe to BNC eNEWS in an RSS reader
  3. Attend BNCs next meeting:  Saturday, September 6, 2014, 10:00 am to Noon, Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley

In this Issue…

  • What We're Thinking About:
    • Implementing the 7 issues that form our agenda for the next several months.  You are invited to be a part of what comes next.
    • What neighbors are saying about the soccer game on July 26 in California Memorial Stadium and what needs to happen next.
    • More information about Sandy Barbour, Cal's former Athletic Director
  • Neighborhood News, Round and About:
    • The quick serve cafe at 3001 is denied a permit by the City Council, but then gets their permit over-the-counter without hearing or right to appeal.
    • A proposal to demolish the old Center for Independent Living building at 2539 Telegraph Avenue and replace it with a six-story building that extends into a residential neighborhood on Regent Street and doesn't have even one parking place for the handicapped.
    • A gas station that is expanding fuel service, building a convenience store selling beer and wine for off-site consumption, and adding a cafe with outdoor seating at Ashby and Telegraph is unanimously approved.
  • Neighborhood Forum:
    • A 10,000 square foot house with a 10-car garage to be constructed on a steep North Berkeley hillside goes before the California Supreme Court for a decision regarding whether it's just a single family home that doesn't require an Environmental Impact Review.
  • Featured Neighborhoods:
  • The March of the Mini-Dorms continues at Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) hearings regarding:
    • 2201-05 Blake (the landmark Bartlett Houses) and 2204 Dwight Way — a complicated proposal concerning 2 parcels, both denied because of density, parking, and parcel line issues, but with high probability that the decision will be appealed to the City Council.
    • 2401 Warring — an approved triplex project that may or may not become a Mini-Dorm and it might not make a difference anyway.
  • It is clear that more work needs to be done on Mini-Dorm operating regulations as Mini-Dorms can happen in all residential neighborhoods R1 — R3.
  • Outside Agencies that Affect Berkeley:
    • An update on BNCs complaint regarding providing information to the public so they have time to comment on actions by outside agencies that would affect their daily lives.
    • A report on Alameda County Superior Court Judge Grillo's decision regarding one of the lawsuits that had been brought against Plan Bay Area.
  • The Cultural Corner:
    • A wonderful and surprising discovery of another Berkeley first — this one involving a Cal fraternity.
  • On the Neighborhood Food Prowl:
    • A review of an elegant restaurant located in one of Berkeley's iconic landmarks.

That's our July-August Issue.  We hope you enjoy it.  We'd love to hear from you — your compliments and complaints.  Have we missed something you want to know about? Would you like to submit something? All comments at are welcome — just e-mail us at bnc50@berkeleyneighborhoodscouncil.com.