For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Wendy Cosin, Deputy Planning Director, (510) 981-7402

BERKELEY PLANNING DEPARTMENT WINS “BEST PRACTICES” AWARD FOR DOWNTOWN AREA PROJECT

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, May 29, 2013) - The Northern California Section of the American Planning Association presented the highest award for “Best Practices” to the Berkeley Planning Department at the annual awards dinner on May 17, 2013.The coordinated adoption of Downtown Area Plan, design guidelines, zoning, a Streets & Open Space Improvements Plan, and impact fees places Downtown Berkeley on a solid path toward implementation of the policy directives supported by Berkeley voters in November 2010.  

Mayor Tom Bates stated, “I am incredibly proud to have been part of the Downtown Area Plan process, which is helping to lay the groundwork for a burgeoning and truly vibrant city center. We are already seeing the fruits of our labor with the arrival of several new world-class restaurants, young families moving into sustainable housing units, start-ups taking flight from our business incubators and more and more visitors taking advantage of our local amenities.”

Within months of adoption of the new zoning for Downtown Berkeley, six mixed-use projects submitted applications with over 700 residential units. The regulations will ensure that Downtown retains its vibrant character and historic resources while accommodating future residential growth within a pedestrian-friendly district.    

Letters of support provided by UC Berkeley, the Downtown Berkeley Association, and Liveable Berkeley demonstrate the range of support for the new regulations.CEO John Caner wrote “…the Downtown Area Plan is a major improvement for the citizens of Berkeley and the business community… now the prospect is becoming a reality of a vibrant, welcoming, and prosperous City Center on the edge of a great University.”

Mayor Tom Bates and former employees Dan Marks and Matt Taecker were also recognized, along with the City Planning Department. The project will now compete for a State award. All of the background studies and relevant documents are available on the City’s website from the following link:  http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/dap/

 

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