Item 17 on the agenda for tomorrow’s City Council Meeting is bound to draw crowds. It concerns the appeal to the zoning board’s approval for a new home to be built at 2707 Rose Street. The application was made in the name of Mitch Kapor and his wife Freada Klein.

You can read all about the application and the appeal in Berkeleyside’s extensive coverage of the issue here.

Seventy-three people have submitted communications in relation to the appeal, making for a 320-page document on this item when taken together with the original application literature and the materials supporting the appeal.

Opinion in the Rose Street neighborhood is divided over both the proposed home and the process which led to the zoning board’s approval. And, in the lead-up to tomorrow’s meeting, some parties have switched sides. Cliff Magnes, for instance, who has been making observations on the issue regularly in Berkeleyside’s comments section, writes today:

“… During all of this discussion, I have tried to keep an open mind, and to respect the opinions of others.  I now see that the proponents of this project have a lot of good points.  I have come to the conclusion, finally, that contrary to my earlier stands, this project may not be so bad for the neighborhood.  In fact, if the City Council approves the ZAB’s decision tomorrow night, the project can move forward, and this seemingly endless discussion can cease.  … I realize now how divisive filing this appeal has been, and I am truly sorry for my part in it.  I would like to wholeheartedly throw my support behind Mitch Kapor’s house, and I apologize for any bad feelings I have caused.”

Needless to say, we will be keeping you posted on developments.

Update Thank you, commenter “not-Cliff Magnes”, who just pointed out to us that the earlier change of heart was by someone pretending to be Cliff Magnes. The hoaxer is at IP address and we will try to screen her/his comments in future. One of the nicest things about Berkeleyside, from our point of view, has been the generally constructive and civil tone of commenters, whichever side of an issue they happen to be on. Clearly, we can’t count on that in every case and we need to be more vigilant. We apologize to the real Cliff Magnes for not spotting the hoax earlier.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...