In 2013, Livable Berkeley will continue our focus on revitalization of the Downtown.
The Downtown is starting to attract the type of projects outlined in the Downtown Plan and Livable Berkeley will engage in these development processes to help Berkeley achieve its broader sustainability goals in affordable housing, transportation options, and GHG reductions.
On March 20, 2012, the City Council passed the new Downtown Plan, affirming the vision for a growing, vibrant Downtown Berkeley.
After seven years, we are finally moving forward. It is with great pride and excitement that we now begin the implementation process that will make our shared vision a reality.
We look forward to engaging our neighbors and coalition partners as we bring to fruition the changes and improvements in store for Downtown Berkeley.
Let’s get to work!
The Downtown Plan focuses on more housing within walking distance of transit, higher education, jobs, services, and entertainment.
Great things are already underway: new programs are making Downtown Berkeley more welcoming, and the UC Art Museum is coming to our thriving Arts District.
All of this makes our Downtown - the heart of our city - a more desirable place to live, work, and play.
Adoption of this plan will allow more jobs and housing, further enhancing the vitality of our Downtown and attracting more restaurants, shops, and entertainment.
Livable Berkeley took a lead on the Measure R campaign and wants to ensure that the passage of the Downtown Area Plan achieves all of the community goals described in Measure R. We will be watching and weighing in to make sure that the final adopted plan can deliver the revitalization and community benefits that Berkeley voters endorsed by passing Measure R by 64.2%.
Berkeley voters passed Measure R on November 2, 2010, affirming the City's environmental and economic revitalization goals for the downtown. It received over 50% in all precincts and passed by 70% in the Downtown precincts.
The coalition of environmental, housing, arts and business advocates formed to pass Measure R demonstrates that sustainability is in everyone’s interest.
Measure R was endorsed by Livable Berkeley, Greenbelt Alliance, Sierra Club,League of Women Voters, California League of Conservation Voters, Downtown Berkeley Association, Alameda County Building Trades, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Bicycle Friendly Berkeley Coalition, Berkeley Design Advocates,Sustainable Business Alliance, Berkeley Food and Housing Project and many more.
On November 29, 2007, DAPAC (the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee) adopted a draft Downtown Area Plan. During the summer and fall of 2008, the Planning Commission worked with Planning Department staff to develop implementation measures, guide the environmental review process, and suggest refinements to goals and policies.
In July, 2009, the Council approved the Downtown Area Plan, but the two dissenting Council members led a signature drive to overturn the Plan by ballot measure. The Council opted to take a proactive approach by rescinding the original plan and instead placing Measure R on the ballot. Measure R put forward a broad vision of a more sustainable Downtown, with new jobs and housing close to transit, and novel incentives for green and socially responsible development. In November 2010, Berkeleyans overwhelmingly passed Measure R by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, with every Berkeley precinct voting YES. Measure R has come to fruition with the Downtown Area Plan now before the City Council.
Livable Berkeley Board members served on the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee, and Livable Berkeley held its own Community Workshop early in the DAPAC process. Throughout the process, Livable Berkeley has been advocating for development levels in the downtown that would accommodate a significant amount of new housing to help achieve the sustainability goals of the Climate Action Plan.