With your support to serve a second term, I will continue to push for housing policies that help low- and middle-income people have a place here in Berkeley. The City Council unanimously adopted my recommendations that give homeowners greater flexibility to create backyard cottages (also known as Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs), and I have authored legislation to support a better experience for those seeking a permit from the Planning Department to build an ADU. I have advocated for rezoning commercial and transit corridors through our Housing Element Plan so that more affordable housing can be created in high-opportunity neighborhoods. I have also built consensus to create homes at the N. Berkeley BART station, a requirement of state law AB 2923.
Finally, I have been a champion for housing for formerly homeless individuals. I led on securing state Homekey resources to create a permanent supportive housing site in District 1. I will continue to fight for permanent solutions, and I will continue to advance immediate efforts that provide relief to our homeless population and impacted neighborhoods. Our policies are working, with Berkeley’s homeless population down 5 percent in 2022 compared to 2019. In a second term, I will push for greater alignment of resources and priorities among the state, county, and cities like Berkeley.
Facts on N. Berkeley BART Development
I was proud to lead the Council to a unanimous vote for a design that is seven stories in the center and stepped down at the perimeter of the station–consistent with state law. I also negotiated with BART to ensure that they enforce this design on the selected developer.
We will utilize a suite of strategies to ensure station access, including retaining up to 200 parking spots for commuters, providing up to 0.5 parking spaces per residential unit (a maximum required under state law), and dramatically improving bike and pedestrian infrastructure around the station so that everyone who wants to get to the station without a car can do so safely. New residents of the station development will not be eligible for Residential Preferential Parking (RPP) permits in the neighborhood around the BART station, per City policy. Commuters who need to park are also welcome to park at the Downtown Center Street Garage, which provides easy access to the Downtown Berkeley BART station. Finally, the developer will be required to implement transportation demand management strategies, such as free transit passes for residents, protected bike parking, and ample car-share vehicles. Future possibilities include employer-sponsored shuttles and enhanced AC Transit service to reduce traffic around the station.
You can learn more by reading my August 2022 Council newsletter, which provides answers to frequently asked questions about the BART development.
My long-term vision for the N. Berkeley BART station is for the site to enhance our neighborhood. Picture a connected Ohlone Greenway that serves as a bike and pedestrian plaza cutting across the station, with neighborhood-serving shops opening onto the plaza. This will enable BART commuters as well as new and existing residents to pick up dinner ingredients on their way home from work, to meet friends at a cafe, or utilize neighborhood services like a daycare, music and performance space, or yoga studio. I am committed to ensuring that the development of the N. Berkeley BART station enhances our neighborhood’s sense of place.