Community Visioning Process for the North Berkeley BART Station

On September 30, 2018 Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2923, a bill that prioritizes transit-oriented development on land owned by BART. The legislation grants BART authority to zone its property in Berkeley, which includes the North Berkeley parking lots. The intention is to use BART property to address the burgeoning housing crisis. Although BART has the authority to set zoning, it has assured the City of Berkeley that it will work closely with the city and residents to come up with a housing proposal for the North Berkeley parking lot that best reflects the desires of the community.

On March 15, Councilmember Linda Maio and I held an initial community meeting to hear from the community on future uses for this site, attended by more than 400 people. Following the meeting, more than 100 residents submitted written input on what should happen with this piece of property. On October 13, we held a Visioning Open House where residents could comment on more than a dozen plans submitted by local urban planners, architects and others in the community. Below you will find a summary of the feedback along with sketches of all the designs presented at the visioning event.

We also received more than 150 comment cards at the October 13 Visioning Open House. If you submitted something and do not see it reflected here, please contact Brandi Campbell at bcampbell@cityofberkeley.info. We will also continue to accept comments on the issue through November 21, which can be submitted to the same email.

Afterwards, the City Council will review all the submitted materials in December and hold a workshop in January where all of the proposals and comments will be discussed. The City Council will then give direction to city staff on the parameters of a development and work to develop a Memorandum of Understanding with BART. Under AB 2923, Berkeley has until 2020 to zone this parcel, which is why we have embarked on this thorough process.

Thank you everyone for your input and for the hours of work sketching out plans for this property. Although there are many opinions, I am optimistic that we can arrive at a final design that reflects the desire of Berkeley residents.

If you have any questions, please reach out to our office at 510-981-7100.

 

FEEDBACK BASED ON WRITTEN COMMENTS RECEIVED PRIOR

TO THE OCTOBER 13 MEETING

Central among issues raised by residents was the potential loss of parking, which many said would be detrimental to the area and force more people to drive instead of using BART. Many others said that any future housing must preserve the unique character of the surrounding neighborhood, including not building taller than 3-4 stories high. The vast majority of the comments stressed that a significant number of new housing units must be below market/affordable. See the bar graph below for a breakdown of the comments received.

 
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Of the 95 people who addressed if they wanted to see new housing built on the North Berkeley Bart Station, 62 people (totaling 65%) said “Yes” and 33 (totaling 35%) said “No.”

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IDEAS PRESENTED AT THE OCTOBER 13, 2018 VISIONING EVENT AT THE NORTH BERKELEY SENIOR CENTER

Double click on each image to see the presentation

Double click on the yellow box below to see written comments