an conclude to single-household zoning

Various properties in North Berkeley, significant components of which are zoned for single-family residences only.

Various properties in North Berkeley, significant components of which are zoned for single-family residences only. March 1, 2021. Photo: Pete Rosos

Update, 11:06 p.m: Both equally motions handed unanimously.

Update, 7 p.m: Stick to Berkeleyside’s live tweets and assessment Mayor Jesse Arreguín’s amended proposal. 

Initial tale: Following unanimously voting to transfer ahead a historic, symbolic evaluate to take away single-spouse and children zoning in Berkeley, the City Council will vote Thursday on beginning the two-12 months-very long system to embed the change in the city’s standard system.

Mayor Jesse Arreguín known as a special assembly at 6 p.m. owing to the mind-boggling curiosity in the strategy, which has gotten national awareness for the reason that of Berkeley’s claim to being the “birthplace of exclusionary zoning.”

Town Council customers will comment and vote on two relevant factors of the housing approach and the related group process tonight.

What’s up for a vote?

The initially motion item on the agenda, from Arreguín and council users Lori Droste, Rashi Kesarwani and Terry Taplin, initiates a zoning update process that could get more than a year. This is in reaction to the Regional Housing Wants Allocation (RHNA) necessities from Senate Bill 828, which requires Berkeley to amend the housing component in its standard plan and generate about 9,000 far more models in different money degrees in the subsequent several many years.

Their item is made up of language to allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes in neighborhoods that formerly only had one-spouse and children zoning. In zoning codes, single-loved ones parts are designated as R1 and R1A. This procedure would not ban solitary-spouse and children households, but instead eradicate one-loved ones zoning by opening up people loads to multi-device houses.

It is one of the a number of strategies to handle RHNA stated in the product, which consists of experiments on missing center housing, transit-oriented housing and models in precedence progress areas like North Berkeley and Ashby BART corridors, downtown, Telegraph Avenue, parts all around Cal and extra.

Existing demolition protections for traditionally selected houses and sustaining “historic fabric” are outlined in the approach, as nicely as assurances that new multi-unit properties will match the scale of the current neighborhood. It also allows for the subdivision of current houses and incentivizes the developing of accessory dwelling units.

The city’s planning fee would get on the perform of developing a typical approach amendment. The group engagement system would span the future 1-and-a-fifty percent several years ahead of a council vote in December 2022.

The second motion merchandise was proposed just before the unique meeting was referred to as by council customers Sophie Hahn and Kate Harrison (with cosponsorship from council customers Ben Bartlett and Susan Wengraf) to address RHNA. It also kickstarts the general approach improve but does not simply call for any specific improvements before the coverage approach is underway.

“Mine purposefully did not involve any substantive articles on what the variations really should be,” reported Hahn, who was portion of unanimous council approval for banning single-household zoning. She reported she and her colleagues didn’t want to propose directed adjustments prior to community engagement occurs.

“For me, theirs is the cart right before the horse and it’s a massive cart,” she mentioned. “It’s a large amount of declarations…it’s really confident of alone.”

The other set of council customers have explained their proposal as developing on many years of group enter and emphasised the robust group method to occur.

The two things could hypothetically be authorized tonight, as they basically shift forward with the same neighborhood housing approach and do not conflict with a single another.

Who is supporting the measure, and who is not?

Berkeley neighborhood corporations that advocate for housing have drawn lines of support and opposition close to the very first measure that would in the long run conclusion one-household zoning.

Nevertheless most teams and people in Berkeley support growing cost-effective housing stock, there are differences in how they want to see it applied.

A coalition of groups that include things like the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board, the Berkeley Tenants Union and Buddies of Adeline has place forward a five-position prepare of advancements, headed by Leah Simon-Weisberg of the lease board.

They’ve suggested that the existing approach to finish solitary-loved ones zoning (action merchandise number 1) does not have more than enough protections for very affordable housing in Berkeley and identified as for more powerful protections in opposition to demolitions for hire-controlled and deed-restricted housing. Council associates in assistance of the plan have managed that demolition is not a favored strategy of building far more housing, but the lease board and other people are asking for a lot more codified protections.

“While we embrace enhanced density, we know that if the town is not mindful with its actions to exchange it, we will repeat the faults of the previous and produce a sample of development that serves earnings over folks and exacerbates gentrification,” Simon-Weisberg’s letter reads. “It is essential that zoning amendments create housing that will be affordable for working folks and do not generate displacement.”

The Sierra Club, which strongly supported the resolution to conclusion exclusionary housing in Berkeley, despatched a letter to the council stating it has no choice involving the two motion objects and aid the council’s moves over-all. It also outlined aid for strong demolition protections, anti-displacement and anti-speculation measures.

The Metropolis Council unique assembly commences at 6 p.m. and can be accessed by means of Zoom, and stay webcast.