Plans to level the shuttered Church’s Chicken shack on the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Harrison Street, on the northern border of Northwest Berkeley, are in the works. And as proposed, a six-story will rise up to 70 feet in height upon the site which is principally only zoned for 50 feet.

As designed by Trachtenberg Architects and slated to be presented to Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board tomorrow, the proposed development would yield 57 apartments over two 900-square-foot restaurant or retail spaces and a stacked garage for 44 cars and 52 bikes.

And in order to build above the existing 50-foot/4-story height limit for the 1200 San Pablo parcel, the project team is planning to invoke Berkeley’s Density Bonus law and provide five (5) of the 57 units to very-low income households, the income limit for which would be 50 percent of the area median.

We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.

10 thoughts on “West Berkeley Rising on San Pablo as Proposed”
  1. let’s hope state law has enough teeth to bite through the frigid bureaucracy of berkeley’s planning & zoning boards. projects like this will be tests to see current legislation is enough, or if wiener’s additions are necessary…

      1. Even if it’s Berkeley’s own law, NIMBYs will fight it.
        I mean, 6 stories on major commercial San Pablo Ave. that is transit rich with Very Affordable Housing just won’t wash with the environmentalist, social justice crowd.

        1. Don’t give them the pleasure of those titles. Their actions show they favor environmentally unsustainable that helps increase their property values. Their talk is just talk.

        2. On the other hand, building a complex with a 1:1.3 auto parking to dwelling ratio in a major transit-rich area isn’t consistent with sustainability.

          1. Arreguin loves cars, the city has been slow (if not stationary) on eliminating parking requirements. The NIMBY crowd loves to complain about street parking as well, so I doubt the city has much motivation to do anything about it.

    1. Despite the “frigidity”, University and San Pablo are lined with multiple examples of this kind of infill development at similar height and bulk. If I recall correctly, the electorate voted down a “preserve our 1967 commercial strip so we can see the (distant) hills in our little rural village” ordinance. The only exception I can recall was a rezoning for a large industrial site-which was voted down.

      1. As are Shattuck and Telegraph, as should be readily apparent to anyone who takes the time to look (rather than issue anti-whoever rants). And for those who worry about sustainability, one can ‘googlemap’ their way thru town…even with outdated images there’s plenty to see.

        1. Indeed. lack of redevelopment is not ONLY because of bad bad bureaucrats. Sometimes you have an old multi-member family trust that is perfectly happy with rents from second-tier tattoo shops and used car lots. sometimes the fast food drive through is really profitable and has a ten year lease. Sometimes there is an old hippy who happens to own the business and just wants to keep operating his ethnic head shop for another ten years.

          Berkeley is an exemplar of infill redevelopment in the context of the Bay Area suburbs!

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