July 14, 2010              

Simple Points for July 14 Planning Commission Meeting
Arriving at the Meeting at 7:30 should be ok

WEBAIC Positions for Commission: Three Important Points:

1. Do Not open up the industrial protections on Wholesale Trade/Warehouse Space to R&D

A. These protected uses are an important part of Berkeley's economy, containing upwards of 50 Companies with over 1000 good jobs
B. This is unnecessary as WEBAIC has already agreed to facilitate millions of square feet of R&D on large Master Use Permit sites that more than accomodate all projected demand for R&D.
C. Allowing R&D into the protected uses category will put strong upward rent pressures on existing and long-productive enterprises since R&D uses are documented as paying on average 3X what the Wholesale Trade and Warehouse uses can pay.

2. R&D allowed in protected space (on MUP sites) should have industrial space requirements (lab and/or bench space) and not be strictly taking place in an office environment.

A. Since only 4% of Berkeley's land is set aside for industrial & artistic production and distribution, only uses that require this precious industrial space should be occupying it. 
B.  R&D use that take place strictly in an office environment (computer modeling, etc.) should locate in the
ample amount of space 1.) downtown,  2.) on all the commercial corridors, and 3.) in West Berkeley that allow office uses.  There is currently a 12.5% W. Berkeley &13.5% Downtown vacancy rate on offices, demonstrating ample amount of space available for these uses and no need for them to occupy industrial space.

3. Allowing R&D into protected space violates West Berkeley Plan and Berkeley General 
    Plan Goals & Policies and hasn't been studied in the DEIR for its environmental impacts.

A.  The West Berkeley Plan clearly places R&D OUTSIDE the protected uses category because it:
      1.) would displace protected uses due to it being more highly capitalized
      2.) has a highly educated workforce who more readily can find good employment than the population
           without a college education that is employed by the protected uses.


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