February 19, 2009               

Important Planning Commission Meeting
on West Berkeley Rezoning

Wednesday February 25th, 7pm, N. Berkeley Senior Center  (NE corner of MLK & Hearst)

               info@webaic.org                    February 19, 2009                                   549--0190

An important Planning Commission meeting discussing key aspects of the West Berkeley Rezoning Project will take place next Wednesday, February 25th.  In order to maintain the positive momentum begun at the last Planning Commission meeting, to be present for a key presentation on what uses the City wants to see locate in West Berkeley, and to assure that the process maintains a reasonable direction for our interests, WEBAIC encourages you to attend.

This meeting  will address two issues central to the rezoning:

1.  Berkeley's Economic Development Manager, Michael Caplan, will make a long-awaited presentation on the sectors Berkeley is hoping to attract through rezoning, including green/clean tech.  Much of the present rezoning effort has been built on the promise of these proposed uses, but until now almost nothing in the way of concrete information on them has been provided. 

Some of the questions we would hope this presentation will begin to answer are:  What are the range of activities these uses engage in?   How much employment can these uses be expected to generate?  What are the educational requirements for employment?  Will the jobs be in R & D, production, or some combination?  Will there blue and green-collar jobs and how many?  How many companies can we realistically expect to locate here?  How much and what kind of space might these enterprises require? 

2.  Planning staff will present a primer on Allowable Uses in the industrial zones.  This includes a discussion of how "industrial" use is defined as well as how the present zoning's industrial protection provisions interact with the Allowable Uses and definitions.
While this is not as critical a public meeting as some past and future, this meeting is still quite important and WEBAIC encourages you to attend if reasonably possible.  The last Planning Commission meeting demonstrated to the staff, Commissioners, and public that there's an active and informed constituency that WILL weigh in on issues affecting them.  As we're in the last stages of the West Berkeley Project, most of the few, final Planning Commission meetings addressing the rezoning will be important and WEBAIC needs to maintain a strong presence if our concerns are to be taken seriously.

The Economic Development Department's presentation on new uses will be a pivotal moment in this process.  In addition to being able to answer questions staff or commissioners might have of us, we must be present to assure the process doesn't move in an unexpected direction that would be negative to our interests.  Experience in this process has led to our clear understanding that close vigilance is required at every step if the train is to be kept on track. 

Please consider attending.

West Berkeley Works!


WEBAIC  •  info@webaic.org  •  510-549-0190


            Helps the public understand West Berkeley industries' contributions to the community;

            Helps businesses maintain and increase their contributions to Berkeley's economy and cultural richness, including how to adopt sustainable practices;

            Serves as a liaison between WeBAIC's members, the community, and local government;

            Promotes the development of sustainable industries as envisioned in the West Berkeley Plan.


WEBAIC • West Berkeley Artisans & Industrial Companies
(510) 549-0190 • PO Box 2755, Berkeley CA 94702