Help Define Community Benefits Tues May 5, 7 pm

Old City HallA workshop to define “significant community benefits” associated with building high rise buildings in Berkeley’s downtown will be held this week.  The special City Council meeting workshop will be Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 7:00p  in Council Chambers, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, email the Council at council@cityofberkeley.info with your ideas.

Measure R, approved by Berkeley voters in Nov 2010, allows for building five high rise buildings in downtown Berkeley, contingent on the provision that the community would get “significant community benefits” beyond features otherwise required. Existing requirements consist of:

  • $28,000 per unit (temporarily reduced to $20,000) toward an Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee or inclusion of 10% affordable housing on site,
  • LEED gold or equivalent,
  • Bike parking for commercial uses,
  • A bus pass for every unit and employee,
  • Car-share spaces in buildings with over 10 spaces,
  • Open space, which can be reduced with payment into a fund for the Streets and Open Spaces Plan (SOSIP).

Current city law does not define “significant community benefits”.  The City Council is currently developing a framework to determine what significant community benefits should be required from high-rise buildings Downtown.  A workshop was held on April 15th to gather community input on benefit priorities.

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