Berkeley Neighborhoods Council

 

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

 

Welcome to Issue 13,BNC eNEWS, October through November 2014

After all that has happened during these past 12 month, the one thing that is positively and absolutely crystal clear is that your participation is essential if neighborhoods are going to have a stronger voice in our City.

This is what each one of us needs to do now

  1. Spread the Neighborhood News!
  2. Persuade just one more person to receive our eNEWS by sending an e-mail to bnc50@berkeleyneighborhoodscouncil.com and enter “subscribe” in the subject line.  Then, please don't forget to forward this to your own neighborhood and personal e-mail lists, and include this same request regarding forwarding.  Our subscriber list has been steadily growing, but the need for more readers doesn't stop.

  3. Alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS Feed and share it with your friends and neighbors.
  4. Subscribe to BNC eNEWS in an RSS reader
  5. Attend BNC's general meetings and participate in the discussions and decisions as to what we are doing.  It's your organization!

BNC usually meets only once per month on a Saturday from 10:00 am to noon at the Art House, 2909 Shattuck Avenue.  Advance notices are sent by e-mail so you know ahead of time exactly when and where the meeting will be held.  There is no requirement for attending a certain number of meetings and we keep you informed of what happened during our general meetings by sending you written minutes.  We don't want you to miss being a part of determining what needs to be done to preserve your neighborhood but at the same time, we also seek to build as much unity as possible among neighborhoods across the City.  Every neighborhood is a part of that effort and your voice needs to be heard.

There are always lots of things going on in Berkeley, and we have as a priority a follow-up on what we learned at our June 7th Neighborhood Preservation Forum.  In addition, this is a tiny peek at what we are also working on:  the thousands of dollars owed to Berkeley from the international soccer game held at UC's Memorial Stadium, crime in general and holiday crime in particular, what happens to minors who live outside of the Berkeley School District when they are enrolled in Berkeley Schools and commit serious crimes in our community, how our Measure M tax dollars are being spent, air quality, architectural preservation, development impacts and recycling.  These topics and more will be in future issues and you help decide what we will write about and do.

In this issue, read about…

  • What We're Thinking About
  • The election is over, but we are left with two big questions:  Voter apathy;  and Where do we go from here.  Can we really build ourselves out of housing price inflation? Read about the suggestion for a citywide density increase that's offered as one solution to building more housing.
  • Neighborhood News, Round and About
  • Is the loss of sunlight in your yard for five months of the year important to you and your family? Find out how the Zoning Adjustments Board decided to measure that importance on one block on Roosevelt Avenue.  Beside that issue, there any low-density neighborhoods that abut commercial corridors outside of the Downtown.  How large should development be along these corridors, what kinds of businesses should be there and how much parking and traffic should those commercial activities generate without impacting their residential neighbors? The Lennar Corp, recently announced as part of the development team over at Candlestick Stick Park has a project in Berkeley known as Parker Place that raises these questions but doesn't provide many answers.
  • Neighborhood Forum
  • The California Supreme Court will soon take up the case of a McMansion in the North Berkeley Hills at 2707 Rose Street.  Does a 10,000 square foot house including a ten car garage have the same environmental impact as an average sized house in Berkeley as the City claims? The California League of Cities and numerous other organizations that range from builders to groups in Carmel and even the Regents of the University of California are interested in the outcome of this one.
  • Featured Neighborhoods
  • The March of the Mini-Dorms with its numerous issues goes on with appeals to the City Council about the landmarked houses on Blake Street, the conversion of an illegal boarding house on Warring, and the addition of bedrooms to an existing apartment building on Hillegass that already exceeds density standards for the zone that it's in.  If that's not enough, there is also the upcoming federal court hearing regarding whether a possible contract between a Berkeley developer and the United States Postal Service for the sale of the Berkeley Main Post Office can move forward.  You can also see a video clip about the comments made by a Berkeley resident who is center stage on the sale of post offices nationwide.
  • The Cultural Corner
  • It's the 40th Anniversary of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association! We take a short look at the history of BAHA and how they accomplished approval of the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance.
  • On the Neighborhood Food Prowl
  • The Michelin reviews for 2015 have been issued and Berkeley has eight on the list for Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition.  In the past people would form a club around such lists, visiting each restaurant and then comparing their lists.  Lots of good eats that way and support for our local businesses.  Anyone interested? Let us know.

Happy reading, especially now when we are getting some rain.  But please do remember,

BNC really wants to hear from you on how we can improve the eNEWS.  If you have any corrections, comments, want to submit an article or letter, make a nomination, have any kind of question, or whatever, please e-mail us at newsletter@berkeleyneighborhoodscouncil.com