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 BNC eNEWS, Issue 17, August and a Bit of September 2015

Summer supposedly left after Labor Day, but it's pretty hard to tell with record heat holding off the wondrous fog that is the signature of our Mediterranean Climate.  Even with the heat, the continuing drought, and all the meetings that are being held on various development projects, we find that the chorus is growing.

Thanks to all who are expressing their concerns about gentrification, protecting our City and its neighborhoods from over-building, preserving our architectural heritage, helping our small businesses, and improving the environment.  You have been and continue to be — and there is just one word for it — AWESOME! But we have lots of work left to do — so here are some dates to remember:

September 9, 16, 23 and 30, Wednesdays, starting at noon

Walking tours of the Shattuck Cinema Theaters and the proposed Harold Way project site.  Tours start in the Shattuck Cinemas lobby and include individual theaters and other areas.  The tour is one hour, includes stairs, inclines and walking at a moderate pace.  Anyone needing special accommodation for accessibility and/or moderation of pace, should contact Save Shattuck Cinemas by email or call 510 325-1218 and a special tour will be arranged that covers the same area at a slower walking pace and/or includes elevators instead of stairs.  Please arrive a little early.  Viewing the theaters, artwork and murals needs to be completed with all participants leaving the cinemas and lobby area before the theaters open for movie goers.  RSVP is appreciated to, but not required. 

Note:  Landmark Theatres, Shattuck Cinemas has taken a neutral position on the proposed Harold Way project.  Landmark Theatres, CEO Ted Mundorff, has stated they are happy to stay in the current theaters or to get new theaters if the space and terms work for Landmark.

September 12, 2015, Saturday, 10:00 am — 12:00 noon

BNC Regular Meeting, Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck Avenue.  Be a part of BNC so your voice will help guide our decisions.

September 16, 2015, Wednesday, 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
South Berkeley Senior Center, 2939 Ellis Street

BNC Third Forum, “A Changing Berkeley” — Presentations on the air quality in West Berkeley and beyond, about housing and development on Telegraph Avenue, the planning for the Adeline Corridor, and what's happening about affordability.

September 29, 2015, Tuesday, probably 6:00 pm — 7:00 pm
2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, City Council Chambers

Council workshop on amending operating standards for Mini-Dorms, and including Group Living Accommodations in those standards.  (See the Featured Neighborhoods article in this Issue.)

September 30, 2015, Wednesday, 7:00 pm
2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, City Council Chambers

ZAB will hold a meeting with just one subject, 2211 Harold Way, on the agenda.  They may take action regarding the permits required for this project.

December 15, 2015, Tuesday, 7:00 pm
2134 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, City Council Chambers

This is the date tentatively scheduled for the City Council to hear the anticipated appeal of the ZAB decision by either proponents or opponents of the 2211 Harold Way project.

What's in this issue:

  • What We're Thinking About
    • We're not going to go away, and we announce our not-to-be-missed third forum focused on the livability and affordability of housing in our community
    • Development in Berkeley is being encouraged to accommodate thousands of new residents, but did you know that the proposed development at 2211 Harold Way could use 10 million gallons or more of water per year, all of which will not be metered?
  • Neighborhood News, Round and About
    • There are new plans for excavating under the Shattuck Hotel, and engineering studies on the Hotel's foundations will only be completed after the project has been approved by the City, instead of before approvals are given.
    • The City has received a grant of $750,000, and will contribute an additional $100,000 plus for planning improvements in the Adeline Corridor.  A start has been made on meeting with the community, but what happens next?
  • Neighborhood Forum
    • Maybe, maybe not, some good news about relocating the entrance to the auto service center proposed for the new home of the Honda dealership in the former Any Mountain store on Shattuck Avenue.  And, we've added another colorful story about Berkeley's history.
  • Featured Neighborhood
    • The end, at least for a year, of the threat to the City of Berkeley landmarked Bartlett Houses.
    • Find out about the new proposals being considered regarding operating standards for Mini-Dorms and Group Living Accommodations.  Will these new standards be sufficient to curb the rowdy behavior that has been experienced when some properties have become Mini-Dorms and GLAs?
  • Outside Agencies that Affect Berkeley
    • Berkeley residents have been locked out of discussions regarding The East Bay Corridor Initiative that will affect San Pablo Avenue.  City Staff says these meetings are for Staff only and the Council agreed.  Is this right?
  • The Cultural Corner
    • We commemorate two pieces of history that occurred in the month of August:  How the approval of the 19th Amendment depended on the vote of one young man from the State of Tennessee who did what his mother told him to do;  and, How one of the greatest speeches ever was given without a script.
  • On the Neighborhood Food Prowl
    • Our reviewer has found a neighborhood family friendly place in the Elmwood that is reasonably priced! Not only that, it has take-out!
  • Letters
    • Here's a real shocker.  Keeping your old car under certain circumstances just may be better that purchasing a new one, even if it's electric or a hybrid.

We are happy to report that our readership is growing with each edition, both within and outside of Berkeley.  We even received an e-mail from Texas this last month — a city official there was researching a rental housing safety program and saw our remarks about how Berkeley's program could be strengthened.  While growing, we continue to seek your help in spreading the eNEWS by forwarding this issue to everyone in your neighborhood and to your personal e-mail list.  Ask each one you send it to, to do the same thing.  Spread the BNC eNEWS:

  1. Send an e-mail to with the word “subscribe” in the subject line to ensure that you receive your personal copy.
  2. Forward the eNEWS to both your neighborhood and personal e-mail list and include the same request about forwarding to their lists.
  3. Alternatively, subscribe to BNC eNEWS in an RSS reader.
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Please let us know how we're doing — the good and the bad.  We want to make a difference and we need to know if we are missing something, or stated something incorrectly.  Send comments, suggestions AND articles to the same e-mail address above, and best wishes to all!