Public Comment

The Return of Rezoning West Berkeley: An Open Letter to Tom Bates

By Curtis Manning
Friday April 26, 2013 - 02:15:00 PM


The absence of an extra honorific will be explained forthwith. Your Consent Calendar item on the April 30 agenda, would re-zone nearly a mile of 4th St. in West Berkeley from light industrial to commercial without any notification to neighbors, or indeed to the light industrial firms or to the commercial enterprises, who may or may not welcome the extra competition from big box corporate stores.

Here, for the edification of all is item #26; your contribution to the quality of life in West Berkeley,

Consent Calendar (April 30, 2013)

26. Extend Commercial Zoning on Fourth Street and Gilman Street
From: Mayor Bates
Recommendation: Request the Planning Commission consider expanding Commercial West Berkeley (CW) zoning along: 1) Fourth Street to Virginia Street, 2) Gilman Street from Sixth Street to San Pablo Avenue (precise area indicated on map attached to Council report).
Financial Implications: Increased tax revenue and employment opportunities.
Contact: Tom Bates, Mayor, 981-7100 

This confirms the rumors I have been hearing that, rather than accepting the will of the people their rejection of Measure T, there would be a retrenchment of your efforts to transform West Berkeley into a nirvana for corporations and the bloated UC Berkeley for-profit sector in West Berkeley. All this, heedless of the thoughts of good West Berkeley people who have spared no effort to make themselves heard.  

I think you have gone a little too far, Mr. Bates. You must feel that, with your 6-3 majority, you can do anything you want, otherwise only a fool would be so brazen. But are you so sure that your majority will hold up? Some are bound to have career plans, and will not wish to be pulled down into the moral morass that will be forming around you. You should have consideration for your loyal, um, what shall I call them, comrades? Your shadow, as you leave, will not make a good running track for Mr. Capitelli. 

Either way, the future looks interesting, does it not?