In an op-ed today, Mayor Tom Bates urges Berkeley voters not to sign a petition for a November ballot measure about development downtown.
Bates argues that the petition poses as a way to save Berkeley’s Main Post Office, but its “main thrust… is to impose prohibitively restrictive fees and requirements on new projects in Berkeley’s core downtown.” Further, according to Bates, the measure would not guarantee that the post office continues operations.
The target of Bates’ concern is a ballot initiative by Councilman Jesse Arreguín and others to overhaul elements of the Downtown Area Plan, which was endorsed by voters in 2010 and codified by the City Council in 2012.
According to initiative supporters, the modifications would restore the “green” in the “Green Vision” parts of the Downtown Area Plan. Bates writes that the proposed measure “would sabotage several pending projects to deliver needed housing units and cultural amenities designed to realize our Climate Action Plan strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by concentrating housing and public activity near transit hubs.”
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