Introduction


The West Berkeley Plan is an amendment to Berkeley's General Plan (often referred to
as the Master Plan, its former title). It is a long range plan for West Berkeley--here
defined as the area between San Pablo Avenue (incorporating both sides of the street)
and the Eastshore Freeway. It is intended to guide the development of West Berkeley
until at least the year 2005. It sets forth the City's key land use, environmental,
economic development, transportation, housing and social services, and physical form
(urban design, historic preservation, open space) policies for West Berkeley.

This document is proposed for final adoption as an area plan and Master Plan
amendment. The Plan process began in 1985. Council directed that a Plan be prepared,
as part of a program of area planning. This direction was given additional urgency by
the controversy surrounding the reuse of the formerly manufacturing Durkee/Aquatic
Park Center site primarily for offices and laboratories. This controversy extended to
occupation of a historic smokestack to block its demolition. After wide-ranging
discussion of a great variety of issues a working document, the Preliminary Working
Draft, was issued by the Planning & Community Development Department in 1989. In
April, 1991, the City Council unanimously approved the Preferred Land Use Concept,
which set forth the basic land use and environmental direction of the Plan. Further
discussions refined that Concept into the Draft Plan, which was issued in November,
1992.

Since issuance of the Draft Plan, an Environmental Impact Report, assessing the
probable environmental impacts of development under the Plan, has been prepared.
That EIR must be certified by the City Council before the Plan can be adopted. After
Plan adoption, rezoning--the Zoning Ordinance amendments that will bring West
Berkeley's zoning into conformity with the Plan will be proposed. The West Berkeley
Redevelopment Plan (for the Redevelopment Area bounded by University and Cedar,
6th St. and the Freeway) will also be brought into conformity with the West Berkeley
Plan. An Implementation and Mitigation Monitoring Program will also be prepared--
this document will serve as a more detailed outline of and timeline for the proposed
and projected implementation of West Berkeley Plan concepts.

The West Berkeley Plan is the latest in a series of area plans--all formally incorporated
into the City's General Plan--that the City and the community have developed. There is
the Waterfront Plan, which guides and controls development on the Waterfront
immediately west of the West Berkeley Plan Area. The Downtown Plan and the South
Berkeley Area Plan have been adopted as guides to the preservation and revitalization
of those areas. Another important plan affecting the city's future is the University of
California's Long Range Development Plan, although that is not a City document and
the City does not endorse all aspects of it. The City has also rewritten the zoning
regulations controlling many of its most important neighborhood commercial districts--
Elmwood, North Shattuck, Shattuck/Adeline, Solano Ave., and Telegraph Ave.,
although full area plans were not developed for these areas. A planning process is
currently beginning for the University Avenue area. Together these Plans and
commercial district rezonings provide guidance for most of the economically active
areas of the city; the General Plan revision which is now underway while tie them
together into a cohesive citywide whole.

The extraordinary participatory process which created the West Berkeley Plan is
discussed in the Process section.


Map A: Planning Context for West Berkeley Plan (.pdf 34.35KB) 

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