The Berkeley City Council now meets in West Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Tuesday’s Berkeley City Council takes place at the BUSD Board Room in West Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Tuesday’s Berkeley City Council takes place at the BUSD Board Room in West Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Two special sessions take place tonight, Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., both of which are open to the public, before the regular Berkeley City Council meeting. The first session focuses on the City Council referral prioritization process. It will examine the system of “re-weighted range voting” to provide direction to city staff on which referrals are the highest priority. The session at 6:45 p.m. will consider a resolution to vote in support of district formation on the “Ballot to Reestablish the Downtown Berkeley Property-Based Business Improvement District.” Then, at the regular 7 p.m. meeting, items include a proposal to help small businesses and a request to increase development potential in the Telegraph commercial district. Scroll down to see how to follow live meeting coverage and participate from afar. 

Action calendar

APPEAL TO LANDMARK 2556 TELEGRAPH The council will look at conducting a public hearing following which it would adopt a resolution dismissing an appeal and affirming the decision of the Landmarks Preservation Commission to deny an application to landmark The Village property, located at 2556 Telegraph Ave., which is slated to make way for a development project.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Councilman Jesse Arreguín’s item (#39) proposes the creation of a Small Business Office charged with implementing a package of policies to support new and existing small businesses. They would include coordinating the intake of permitting documents to streamline the startup process and improve efficiency; providing business counseling; potentially developing a Small Business Week; and amendments to reduce cost permitting barriers for new businesses.

INCREASE DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL IN TELEGRAPH AREA Councilman Kriss Worthington’s item (#40) asks that the council immediately amend the Berkeley Zoning Ordinance to allow increased development potential in the Telegraph commercial district between Dwight and Bancroft avenues, and look at how to develop community benefit requirements, with a focus on labor practices and affordable housing.

FROM FOUR TO SIX CANNABIS DISPENSARIES Following the selection earlier this month of iCANN Health Center to be the city’s fourth medical cannabis dispensary, item #41, put forward by Worthington, requests that the City Manager return with an amendment that would allow six dispensaries instead of four — something that was generally agreed upon in discussion at the May 10 council meeting.

The consent calendar includes many items relating to ballot measures intended for the November elections. There is a first reading of an ordinance about Revolving Door Restrictions — prohibiting former City of Berkeley employees, elected officials and commissioners from lobbying city staff and officials for a period of one year after leaving city employment or service. Also on the consent calendar: hiring a communications firm, for no more than $70,000, to create an education campaign for the city’s Sugar-Sweetened Beverage (SSB) program; and an item from councilman Jesse Arreguín about establishing a police foot patrol officer to cover the downtown area.

Meeting details

Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.
Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg

Berkeleyside often covers council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get spirited. Follow along in real-time, and tag tweets with #berkmtg to join in. The Berkeley City Council meets at 1231 Addison St. (enter 1222 University Ave.). The special sessions start at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., and the regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. You do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Just click here.

Council agendas are available online. Watch the meetings online.

Council-related Twitter handles:
@MayorTomBates (Mayor)
@LindaMaio (District 1)
Darryl Moore @BerkCouncil (District 2)
@JesseArreguin (District 4)
Laurie Capitelli @berkcap (District 5)
Kriss Worthington @k__worthington (District 7)
Lori Droste @loridroste (District 8)

Learn more about the Berkeley City Council and how to connect with local representatives via the city website.

Council on mid-year budget update, transfer tax surpluses, publicly funded campaigns, more (02.23.16) 
Berkeley council on minimum wage, ballot measures, homelessness, street paving, more (02.09.16)
Council on noisy Southside parties, Black Lives Matter protests, the smoking age, more (01.26.16)
Council on bike sharing, PRC protest report, homeless services, housing (12.15.15)
Berkeley council on affordable housing, protest report, homeless services, protest march (12.01.15)

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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...