This is an archive of a past election.|
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Policies to revitalize the downtown
City of Berkeley
Majority Approval Required
Pass: 26120 / 64.07% Yes votes ...... 14648 / 35.93% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Jan 6 2:56pm, 100.00% of Precincts Reporting (99/99)|
|Information shown below: Official Information | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the City of Berkeley adopt policies to revitalize the downtown and help make Berkeley one of the greenest cities in the United States by meeting our climate action goals; concentrating housing, jobs and cultural destinations near transit, shops and amenities; preserving historic resources; enhancing open space; promoting green buildings; and calling for 2 residential buildings and 1 hotel no taller than our existing 180 foot buildings and 2 smaller office buildings up to 120 feet?
This measure would:
This measure differs from prior plans by including a voluntary "Green Pathway" that would provide a streamlined permit process for buildings providing public benefits that could not otherwise be obtained. Only projects without landmarks could use the "Green Pathway", and the Landmarks Preservation Commission would determine whether buildings qualify as landmarks under a set timeframe.
For Green Pathway projects, new buildings up to 75' would qualify for a streamlined design review process, and be permitted as a matter of right, if they provide 20% affordable housing on site or downtown or pay an in lieu fee, and waive any state law density bonus, and approximately 30% of construction workers are from Berkeley and East Bay Green Corridor cities.
Green Pathway projects with new buildings over 75' would qualify for a streamlined review process that includes zoning review with public hearings. Projects with buildings over 75' would have to provide these additional public benefits:
1. Buildings with more than 100 units of housingand office buildings would pay prevailing wages for construction workers and hire approximately 16% of the workers from State Certified Apprenticeships with a record of graduating apprentices.
2. Hotels would pay prevailing wages for hotelemployees.
This measure would also provide advisory guidance for future Council decisions regarding building heights:
1. 60' height limit in the Downtown Area, exceptfor: a. 2 residential buildings in the Core, with commercial on the ground floor, no taller than existing 180-foot buildings; b. 1 hotel with conference facilities in the Core up to 180'; c. 2 mixed-use or office buildings up to 120'; and d. Buildings up to 75' with a use permit on Shattuck Avenue from Hearst Avenue to Haste Street and University Avenue from Oxford to Milvia Streets.
2. 55' height limit on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
3. 45' height limit adjacent to or confronting existingresidential buildings, and 55' with a 10' setback on the 5th floor.
This measure would require the Council to regularly evaluate and considering amending any new DAP.
Information Forum (Pros and Cons)
|Arguments For Measure R||Arguments Against Measure R|
|Vote YES on Measure R for a safe, vibrant and green
Measure R helps local merchants, attracts business, creates jobs and raises revenue for the City. Berkeley needs thriving businesses. A revitalized Downtown will attract new jobs, increase our economic vitality, improve public safety and strengthen the tax base.
Measure R establishes a welcoming Downtown with plazas and open space.
Residents and visitors will be drawn to Downtown's plazas, clean and wide sidewalks, tree-lined streets and bicycle amenities.
Measure R encourages housing in innovative new green buildings.
The new Plan establishes a Green Pathway encouraging an array of housing opportunities for our local workforce, students, families, seniors and retirees of all income levels. The Plan requires the highest standards in energy efficiency and sustainable amenities, such as rainwater catchment, open space, and recycling.
Measure R restricts building heights and protects neighborhoods from over-development and commuter traffic. The new Plan allows two residential buildings and one hotel no higher than the Wells Fargo and Great Western Buildings. New housing will have easy access to transit, car sharing, bike parking and will support a fund to provide alternatives to single occupancy vehicles, such as bus passes for residents.
Measure R preserves historic and cultural resources.
The new Plan will ensure that a comprehensive, independent analysis of potential impacts on historic sites will be reviewed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission prior to approving any project.
Measure R is supported by the Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, Greenbelt Alliance, Alameda County Building Trades, League of Conservation Voters, Livable Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley Association, and Berkeley Food and Housing Project. Vote YES on Measure R and move Downtown Berkeley into the 21st century with people working, living, shopping, studying and enjoying the arts and entertainment downtown. Vote YES on Measure R.
Managing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theater; President, Downtown Berkeley Association
Retired Berkeley City Manager
s/Robert B. Reich
Professor of Public Policy and Former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Executive Director, Bay Area Hispano Institute for Advancement (BAHIA, Inc)
Measure R provides no real plan to revitalize Downtown. Instead it creates pressure that will make Downtown less viable and less livable. The first and only sure effect of replacing older building stock is to drive out existing residents and the small businesses we love.
Measure R completely lacks noncompliance penalties, leaving giant loopholes for developers to avoid providing essential community benefits, including open space, green building standards, affordable housing, and fair wages -- the very things we all agree are important.
Measure R doesn't preserve historic and cultural resources. It rewrites the Landmarks Ordinance, making it easier to demolish historic buildings containing existing affordable housing.
Measure R harms surrounding neighborhoods by incorporating them into an expanded and intensified Downtown with dramatically raised building heights.
We can make Downtown a better place to work, live, shop, study, and enjoy arts and entertainment, but Measure R is a step backward! It ignores five years of community process that resulted in a truly green Downtown Plan, which Council rejected in favor of this blank check for developers.
Vote No on R, and tell Council to come up with a truly green plan for our Downtown! Find out the whole truth at FactsAboutMeasureR.org.
s/Bonnie Hughes, Berkeley Arts Festival, director Downtown Resident
s/Wendy Alfsen, DAPAC member, COB Transportatn Comm; former Chair, corresponding secy MAAGNA (McKinley Addison Allston Grant Neighborhood Association)
s/Lisa Stephens, Member, Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC); Former Chair, Parks and Recreation Commission; Chair, Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
s/Carrie Olson, Vice-Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commssion Past President, Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Member, Design Review Committee
s/Jesse Arreguín, Councilmember, District 4 (Downtown & Central Berkeley); former member, Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC)
|Protect Our Historic Buildings and Our Neighborhoods.
Require a Truly Green Plan for Downtown. Say NO to
The City Attorney admits that Measure R is not a plan. It's a plan to have a plan, an end run around voters, packaging empty promises with destructive proposals in feel-good "greenest city in America" language, while needlessly delaying adoption of an actual Downtown Plan.
Measure R throws out five years of successful community process. A 21-person, Council-appointed citizens' committee held hundreds of public meetings and overwhelmingly approved a Downtown Plan. The Council rejected that plan and replaced it with a developer-backed plan. Within thirty days, 9,200 citizens signed petitions preventing adoption of that plan without a vote of the people. Instead, the Council rescinded the plan and devised Measure R.
Measure R greenlights out-of-scale development, as much as tripling the present limit from 55 to 180 feet (the unsightly Great Western building's height) without enforceable environmental mitigations or community benefits such as open space or affordable housing. Developers will build even higher than 180 feet under California's bonus density provisions. UC would be allowed to build unspecified additional tall buildings, weakening the tax base.
Measure R threatens neighborhoods, designating a hugely expanded "Downtown" that incorporates existing residential areas, allowing outsized development to overwhelm surrounding neighborhoods.
Measure R establishes the anti-preservation law specifically rejected in November 2008, when voters soundly defeated Measure LL. By expediting demolition of historic buildings, R in fact destroys real affordable housing, increases greenhouse gas, and sends tons of demolition debris to landfills.
Voting NO on R tells the Council to work with the community on a truly green plan that serves us all: Downtown businesspeople, residents, students, everyone who'd like to be able to shop downtown again, and developers.
Councilmember, District 4 (Downtown & Central Berkeley); former member, Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC)
s/Patricia D. Marsh
Secretary, Alameda County Green Party on behalf of the Green Party of Alameda County
s/Anne Paxton Wagley
on behalf of Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, City of Berkeley Landmarks Preservation Commissioner
Treasurer, Council of Neighborhood Associations on behalf of the Council of Neighborhood Associations
s/John T. Selawsky Berkeley School Board member
The arguments against Measure R are false, advanced by people who have consistently opposed virtually every attempt to revitalize Downtown.
Based on five years of community process and hundreds of public meetings, this plan is supported by The Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, and Downtown merchants. Measure R gives voters a say in the future of Berkeley and the Downtown.
Despite what opponents claim, no building could be taller than what we have now. The plan does not permit anything higher.
The plan includes legal incentives to create new affordable housing. The plan will encourage new homes, including affordable housing, close to jobs and transit.
UC Berkeley agreed to the plan adopted by Council. Without voluntary agreement with the plan the UC could develop however and wherever they want.
The plan protects neighborhoods. It concentrates housing and future growth Downtown, relieving development pressure and traffic impacts on neighborhoods.
Landmarks will be preserved. Any new development must be reviewed by the Landmarks Commission for its impacts on historic structures nearby. This will not change.
The plan has broad support
League of Conservation Voters
Bicycle Friendly Berkeley Coalition
Advocates for jobs, a robust economy, and affordable housing:
Alameda County Building Trades
Downtown Berkeley Association
Berkeley Chamber of Commerce
Berkeley Food and Housing Project
The League of Women Voters
Join seven City Council members and so many others who want a vibrant, green, and safe downtown.
s/Nancy Skinner, Assemblymember + District 14
s/Susan Medak, Managing Director, Berkeley Repertory Theater & President, Downtown Berkeley Association.
s/Harrison Fraker, Former Dean, UC Berkeley School of Environmental Design
s/Amy Thomas, owner, Pegasus Books
s/Helen K. Burke, Vice Chair, Sierra Club, No. Alameda County Group
|Full Text of Measure R|
|ADOPTING A GREEN VISION FOR THE DOWNTOWN,
DESIGNATING THE DOWNTOWN PLAN
AREA, ADOPTING POLICIES, AND PROVIDING
GUIDANCE FOR FUTURE COUNCIL DECISION
WHEREAS, Berkeley voters overwhelmingly passed a
Climate Action Plan that calls for reducing greenhouse gas
by 80% by the year 2050, making Berkeley one of the
greenest cities in the United States, and
WHEREAS, Downtown should be a destination neighborhood that is safe, oriented to the pedestrian, offering open space, tree-lined streets and shops, services and amenities that make it possible to meet most daily needs near where people live and work; and
WHEREAS, Downtown should build on its successful Arts District and expand the heart of Berkeley where people can experience and enjoy urban life; and
WHEREAS, Downtown should thrive economically, serving Berkeley's residents and visitors with attractive stores, parks and plazas, exceptional restaurants, and provide myriad community amenities with adequate public parking; and
WHEREAS, Downtown should celebrate its cultural, historic assets and its proximity to the University of California, renowned for its academic accomplishments and its physical beauty; and
WHEREAS, the Downtown should be the preferred locale for new, transit oriented housing, providing homes for all income levels and family sizes, thus reducing the heavy volume of commute traffic into the City of Berkeley; and
WHEREAS, Downtown buildings should be constructed to the highest green standards and provide a limited number of new structures that are no higher than what exists now.
Now, therefore, the People of the City of Berkeley hereby resolve as follows:
Section 1. Green Vision for Downtown
The People of the City of Berkeley hereby adopt, as a vision for the City's Downtown Area, a Downtown that meets the City's climate action goals by concentrating housing, jobs and cultural destinations near transit, shops and amenities; preserving historic resources, enhancing open space, promoting green buildings; and allowing for 2 residential buildings and 1 hotel no higher than our existing 180 foot buildings and 2 smaller office buildings up to 120 feet, concentrating housing and jobs, thus helping to make Berkeley one of the greenest cities in the United States.
Section 2. Designation of Downtown Area
The Downtown Area is hereby designated as the area bounded by Hearst Street and Dwight Way and Oxford/Fulton Street and Martin Luther King, Jr.Way, with a Core area within one (1) block of any entrance to the Downtown BART Station.
Section 3. Policies
The People desire an updated Downtown area plan that will establish an environmentally healthy and sustainable downtown, in accordance with the vision adopted herein. Accordingly, the People adopt the following policies as guidance for the City Council in formulating and adopting a new Downtown Area Plan.
1. Green Businesses: Promote Downtown as a destinationfor visitors who can witness Berkeley's innovation in green building management and construction. Encourage new green businesses to locate Downtown, and expand the number of existing businesses that go green. Promote strategies that connect Downtown residents, businesses and visitors with local sources of products, services, and healthful foods.
2. Land Use. Encourage a mix of transit orientedhousing development to encourage a diversity of residents of all income levels and family sizes and encourage a mix of land uses that allow most daily needs to be met on foot.
3. Historic Preservation. Preserve historic buildingsand provide where appropriate for their rehabilitation, adaptive reuse and/or intensification.
4. Economic Development. Support and encourageexisting and new shops, restaurants, and cultural uses (such as theaters, music venues, museums, and galleries) and attract locally-serving businesses of a variety of sizes, to provide a wide variety of goods and services, with adequate public parking. Promote family-friendly uses, such as childcare and preschools, and cultural, recreational, and educational activities for children. Seek to retain and expand hotels that provide meeting and conference facilities to improve Berkeley's vitality, and its tax base.
5. Streets and Open Space/Pedestrian Priority. Make majorenhancements and additions to sidewalks, parks, plazas, mid-block pedestrian walkways, streets, and other open space, and incorporate ecologically beneficial features and to give pedestrians priority in Downtown.
6. Urban Design. Encourage exceptional, high-qualitynew architecture, and minimize noise, wind, glare, shadowing and other impacts from development.
7. Alternative Transportation Modes. Enhance andexpand transit opportunities, walking and bicycle use, and other alternatives to the use of single occupancy/ high-emission vehicles.
8. Neighborhood Protections. Reduce pressure fordevelopment in residential areas, promote the preservation and rehabilitation of valued older structures, and conserve the scale of our neighborhoods' fabric. Avoid abrupt transitions between residential neighborhoods and new buildings.
9. Community Services. Retain and expand effectivehealth-related services, youth, senior and social services in the Downtown for those of all income levels, and work with the owner of Herrick site to include community-serving health services as part of any redevelopment of that site.
10.Environmental Development and Sustainability. Integrate and require environmentally sustainable development and practices in every aspect of theDowntown and in its future planning.
11. New Green Standard Development Requirements:Modify existing development standards to require environmentally sustainable building with the following public benefits in all cases, except historic rehabilitations and adaptive reuse of existing buildings.
a) Meet LEED Gold or equivalent.
b) Provide Car sharing opportunities, on site bike parking and Transit passes.
c) Meet Title-24 energy requirements and the local green standards adopted by Council.
d) Provide on-site open space or pay into a Public Open Space Fund.
e) Parking spaces to be rented separate from dwelling units.
f) Residents in new downtown buildings would be ineligible for Residential Permit Parking Permits.
g) Provide on-site recycling services and ensure no new net water runoff.
h) Parking requirement may be reduced by paying into a Transportation Management Demand Fund to provide enhanced transit services.
12.Green Pathway Development Requirements andReview. Establish a voluntary "Green Pathway" development review process that would provide a streamlined permit process for buildings that move beyond the New Green Standard Development requirements, providing extraordinary public benefits that could not otherwise be obtained. Green Pathway projects shall conform with building height standards described in Section 4, and zoning shall require mitigation of air quality, noise, and short-term construction impacts, as well as the possible disturbance of archeological resources.
Concessions from Green Pathway projects with buildings at or below 75 feet would include:
a) Provide 20% affordable rental housing onsite or in a building located in the Downtown Area, or paying a fee to the Housing Trust Fund.
b) Waiving the right to the State Density bonus.
c) Employing approximately 30% of a project's construction workers from Berkeley, and if qualified persons are not available in Berkeley, from cities in the East Bay Green Corridor. A contractor may gain credit for a locally hired worker who may be employed on another project.
Green Pathway streamlined entitlement process for buildings at or below 75 feet would include:
a) Submit Landmarks application to planning staff including funds for City-conducted analysis of historical value.
b) Submit completed analysis to Landmarks Preservations Commission (LPC) for determination. LPC shall complete its determination within 90 days. LPC determination shall be in effect while in an active pursuit of the use permit. If LPC des- ignates a Landmark, the project reverts to standard zoning review process. LPC action appealable to City Council.
c) Design Review Commission has up to 90 days to assess whether the project conforms to Downtown design guidelines, subject to appeal directly to City Council.
d) Zoning Certificate is issued upon completion of this process. No Zoning Adjustment Board review required.
e) Public Benefit and labor compliance will be monitored and verified. Violations subject to penalty.
Green Pathway buildings over 75 feet would have the following additional requirements and limitations:
a) Buildings with more than 100 units of housing or office buildings above 75' will pay prevailing wages for construction workers and employ approximately 16% of total employees as apprentices from State Certified Apprenticeships with a record of graduating apprentices.
b) Hotels above 75 feet will pay prevailing wages for hotel employees.
c) Green Pathway Project applications will receive priority status to meet approval deadlines.
d) New process for submitting application to determine landmark status, with final determination by Landmarks Preservation Commission within 90 days, with possible option to pay for Cityconducted analysis of historical value. If LPC issues negative determination, it shall be in effect while in an active pursuit of the use permit. If LPC designates a positive determination, the project reverts to standard zoning review process. LPC action appealable to City Council.
e) Design Review Commission and Zoning Adjustment Board (ZAB) process not to exceed a combined total of 210 days; ZAB action appealable to City Council.
f) Public Benefit and labor compliance will be monitored and verified. Violations subject to penalty.
Section 4. Guidance for Council Decision-Making
A. In order to advance Berkeley's green future, and foster needed economic development and revitalization, the People of the City of Berkeley hereby advise the City Council that planning efforts for the Downtown should include consideration of a limited number of new buildings, as follows:
1. A maximum height in the Downtown Area of 5stories (60 feet).
2. Exceptions to maximum height of 60' include:
a) A total of 5 new buildings in the Downtown Area as follows:
1) 2 -residential buildings in the Core, with commercial on the ground floor, no taller than existing 180 foot buildings;
2) 1 hotel with conference facilities in the Core not to exceed 180 feet; and
3) 2 buildings not to exceed 120 feet, which may be mixed-use (residential/commercial ground floor) or office buildings.
b) Buildings up to 75 feet with a use permit on Shattuck Avenue from Hearst Avenue to Haste Street and along University Avenue from Oxford to Milvia Streets.
3. On Martin Luther King Jr. Way, limit height ofnew buildings adjacent to or confronting existing residential buildings to 45' at the sidewalk, and 55' with a 10' set-back on the 5th floor.
B. The City Council shall regularly evaluate any Plan adopted as a result of this measure for its impacts on environmental goals, aesthetics, livability, economic vitality, housing growth and affordability, sustainability, and other factors, and shall consider adjustments to the Plan's policies and development regulations to better attain desirable outcomes and address unacceptable negative impacts.