April 14, 2009               

Serious Problem with
West Berkeley Project's Process and Policy

Hello WEBAIC Members,

A serious problem with the West Berkeley Project's process and policy came to WEBAIC's attention after the last WEBAIC/City stakeholder meeting.

In violation of staff's commitment to bring important issues to the stakeholders BEFORE presenting them to the Planning Commission, on March 25th staff proposed a Master Use Permit industrial protections policy to the Planning Commission completely different than that presented to WEBAIC stakeholders at their March 19th meeting.

This violation of the process is a core problem since without integrity in the process, the result cannot be valid and there will certainly be no community buy-in to the result.

Without bringing it to the stakeholders first for discussion, staff unilaterally changed the industrial protections policy on Master Use Permit sites to allow offices (and other uses) to replace all the now industrially protected property on these sites.

This is property that for almost two years the City has vehemently been declaring it wants to be devoted to industrial R & D clean/green technology uses.  Capturing these clean tech uses in support of the East Bay Green Corridor was the CENTRAL rationale motivating the West Berkeley Project flexibility rezoning effort. And now staff proposes to allow these properties to become office parks.

Attached is the WEBAIC document addressing these concerns  that was sent to Planning staff, the Planning Commission, and the Office of Economic Development. 

Following the document's process and policy sections are three addenda that provide relevant background for the WEBAIC comments.  These addenda are:
1. Master Use Permit Industrial protections policy history in staff documents
2. Relevant West Berkeley Plan Goals and Policies
3. 1/19/09 WEBAIC Position on W. Berkeley Project stakeholder process

Thanks for being a part of this effort and please consider joining in at the few remaining opportunities to have your voice heard in this process.  If you'd like to attend a stakeholder meeting please reply to this email. New faces and voices are very helpful in making our case.  And please mark the upcoming May 27th Planning Commission meeting on your calendar as it is scheduled to address these and other core issues critical to the future of industry and arts in West Berkeley.    

West Berkeley Works!

The WEBAIC steering committee

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