Public Comment

New: The Berkeley Bowl Parking Lot Saga

By M. Sarah Klise
Sunday November 06, 2011 - 12:38:00 PM

Berkeley Bowl West has three parking lots: one underground, one adjacent to the store, and one across Heinz Avenue on the old Hustead's Tow lot. The store opened 2 years ago with the first 2 lots, the third (tow yard) was purchased later and immediately relieved the burden of employee and costumer cars on our neighborhood streets. You might remember that the City of Berkeley did not require the Bowl to provide employee parking. This lot boasts over 150 spaces and is very well-used.

Fast forward to today, when the Bowl ownership wants to demolish a warehouse also on this parking site and rehab another warehouse for wholesale and retail usage. Their application is before the City currently. 

The City Staff recommends the warehouse changes but also suggests moving the parking lot entrance from Heinz and putting it on 8th Street, a mixed-use residential street. This move is apparently in response to a complaint about jaywalkers, who cross Heinz, midblock and outside the crosswalk to come and go from the lot to the store. A proposed fence would close off the entire Heinz Street side of this lot, forcing carts and cars down 8th Street. 

The exact location of the proposed in/out entrance on 8th Street, is 75 ft from the corner of Heinz Avenue, placing it across the street from Ed Jones Co and 2 residential homes, with 6 children.  

Why should neighbors and small businesses be forced to bear the burden of traffic associated with large-scale development? An entrance to a parking lot on a residential street would never have been allowed as part of the initial Bowl approval process and it shouldn’t be permitted now. 

The neighborhood AND the Bowl ownership are against moving the parking lot entrance to 8th Street.  

Please attend the Zoning Adjustments Board Meeting (ZAB) next week. 

WHEN: Thursday, November 10th, 2011 -- 7:00 PM WHERE: Council Chambers 2134 MLK Way, 2nd Floor