Click this link to optimize Berkeley Considers for screen readers Skip to Content
Berkeley Considers
Open Town Hall

Subscribe to Announcements from the City of Berkeley

Info Hide

Get announcements of new topics and important updates to existing topics from the City of Berkeley in your RSS reader or emailed to you as a daily digest.

  Learn More Hide

Subscribe to updates from the City of Berkeley, and you'll get emails announcing new topics and the outcome of existing topics.

Your privacy is important. Your email address will not be shared with anyone per our privacy agreement. And of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Statements are emailed at most once per day (in the morning).

Subscribe

Manage your subscription in your RSS feed reader

Check out some recent announcements

July 15, 2019, 2:53 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to weigh in on whether the City Council should direct the City Manager to identify city-owned land, including at the Berkeley Waterfront, for the establishment of "a managed safe RV parking site."

The City Council proposal, if passed, would direct the City Manager to find single or multiple sites "for individuals currently sheltering in an RV or oversized vehicle on the public right-of-way in the City of Berkeley."

The one or more sites would be available for a three-month period specifically for individuals identified through outreach as being a "priority population," a category defined by the City Council on March 26, 2019.  

The City of Berkeley as well as Alameda County prioritize housing for homeless people based on three criteria: number of episodes to homelessness or the duration of homelessness; disabilities; and barriers to housing, such as eviction history or time elapsed since holding a lease. In Berkeley, those who have been homeless for at least a year and who suffer from a disability are prioritized for housing.

For this City Council proposal regarding RV parking on city property, designated "priority populations" would include families with children, people that work in Berkeley, students enrolled in schools or higher education in Berkeley, and persons who have had a Berkeley address within the past 10 years.

The proposal states that program participants should be actively engaged with rehousing and other services. The proposal states that their stay would be short-term while they are seeking permanent housing and/or a long-term off-street location to which they can relocate, such as an RV park.

Sites under consideration would be all possible city-owned land, including all vacant or partially-occupied city properties, "dead-end" streets. If passed, the Council proposal would lead to a formal request from the California State Lands Commission to allow a "temporary safe parking location" at the Berkeley Waterfront based on the City of Berkeley's declaration of a Homeless Shelter Crisis.

The City Manager would report back with one or more proposed locations, a program model, a non-profit operator, security measures, and sanitary facilities, such as portable restrooms and hand-washing stations.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 39 on the July 23, 2019 agenda.

Read More

July 9, 2019, 7:44 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to weigh in on whether the City Council should refer priorities for investment in specific parts of downtown, south and west Berkeley that have been designated by the state as "opportunity zones." 

The identified priorities would be used by City Staff for proactive outreach and marketing to investors, who would get federal tax benefits for reinvesting capital gains into the five Berkeley census tracts designated as opportunity zones. The priorities would also guide any discussions or negotiations regarding development projects in those areas - which you can see on the state map for opportunity zones.

The proposed priorities are:

  • Construction of new Affordable Housing units or acquisition and preservation of affordable housing;
  • Preservation of historic buildings;
  • Cultural Institutions and Performing Arts Venues;
  • Civic Uses (Government Offices, Libraries, Schools, Public Safety)
  • Public Open Space and Recreation Facilities;
  • Health Care Services;
  • Transportation Demand Management features;
  • Job training or employment opportunities

City staff would use the guidelines to develop a prospectus for marketing community development projects in these areas. The guidelines would also be used for any other tools created to attract equitable investment in Opportunity Zones.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 14 on the July 16, 2019 agenda.

Read More

March 22, 2019, 4:42 PM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to inform City Council discussion about the environmental impacts of UC Berkeley’s increased enrollment, which has led to a new baseline for the campus population.

The University in 2005 had estimated having 33,450 students in 2020. Now, the University anticipates that in 2020 it will have 44,735 students -- a 33.7 percent increase.

The Council will use your input at its April 2 meeting as it gives policy guidance to the City Manager about how to formally respond to the University’s draft supplemental Environmental Impact Report, which is required by state law but which is not subject to City approval.

The report also addresses the impacts of two proposed buildings on the northwest corner of Hearst and La Loma avenues – a 4-story, 37,000 square-foot academic building over a subterranean level; and a residential building of up to six stories and 150 units on top of a mostly underground parking structure.

The City’s online forum is not a substitute for official comments, which should be submitted directly to UC Berkeley. See the University’s public notices to get more information about the university’s project, and submit comments to them by 5pm on Friday, April 12.

The University’s report aims to identify:

  • each significant effect with proposed mitigation measures and alternatives that would reduce or avoid that effect
  • areas of controversy known to UC Berkeley
  • issues to be resolved, including the choice among alternatives and how to mitigate significant effects.

Post comments on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 15 on the April 2, 2019 agenda.

Read More

March 15, 2019, 5:10 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to weigh in on whether the City Council should ask the City Manager to develop a report to assess where and how the City could foster a broader range of housing types - particularly "missing middle housing" types like duplexes, triplexes, townhouses and more.

Among other things, the report would identify:

  • Where "missing middle housing is optimal," particularly areas with access to parks, schools, employment, transit and other services that add "livability."
  • Excluding very high fire zones defined by Cal Fire and/or the City
  • Allowing the possibility of existing houses, footprints or zoning envelopes to be divided into four units to increase affordability
  • Creating incentives to maintain family-friendly housing stock while adding more diversity and range of smaller units
  • Creating incentives for building more than one unit on larger than average lots
  • Considering provision of tenant and vulnerable low-income homeowner protections, demolition controls and no net loss provisions

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 22 on the March 26, 2019 agenda.

Read More

February 28, 2019, 4:50 PM

Weigh in on the City of Berkeley's online forum regarding proposed changes to local cannabis laws that would clarify quotas and buffer zones, create a path for retail nurseries, restrict cannabis advertising in an effort to protect youth, and allow cannabis events at Cesar Chavez Park.

These changes, which will come to the City Council on March 12, would also revise Berkeley's cannabis laws to reflect the state's. They would also establish business operational and development standards.

The Council decision on March 12, 2019 will come upon the conclusion of a public hearing. 

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 21 on the March 12, 2019 agenda.

Read More

February 26, 2019, 9:10 PM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to help the City review the effectiveness of an existing law that prohibits tobacco smoking in multi-unit residential buildings.

While the law was passed was in 2013, the City is now interested in evaluating the ordinance and its enforcement. The Housing Advisory Commission will use this feedback as one piece of their evaluation and they may propose revisions to City Council.

Please use the survey to help us evaluate the ordinance.

Read More

January 22, 2019, 5:37 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to inform a City Council proposal to create an official task force, hold community events and have a Council worksession all focused on eliminating fatal and severe traffic injuries.

The task force would lead the planning and implementation effort for Vision Zero - an effort to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. The task force would include representatives from the City Manager's office, Police, Public Works, Fire, and Public Health.

The community events would seek to encourage equitable outcomes, cooperation and collaboration from community stakeholders to set shared goals and focus on coordination and accountability.

The proposal would ask the City Manager to develop an action plan to establish clear strategies, owners of each strategy, interim targets, timelines, & performance measures. This Vision Zero Action Plan would be presented at a worksession and then report progress to council on a biannual basis.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 12 on the January 29, 2019 council agenda.

Read More

January 8, 2019, 5:48 PM

The City of Berkeley is developing its first Electric Vehicle (EV) Roadmap. Please help by taking a brief survey on how we can best support clean transportation options in our community.

Berkeley is committed to ensuring that cleaner modes of transportation become equally available to residents of all ages, races, income levels and geographic locations. Your feedback will help us understand and prioritize your travel and mobility needs.

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum, Berkeley Considers, to weigh in on how to make electric vehicle options (including electric bikes, scooters, buses, and car sharing) available to everyone in Berkeley. The survey will be open until January 31, 2019.

Read More

December 5, 2018, 5:42 PM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to weigh in on a proposed ordinance to reduce litter and single-use utensils, plates and other foodware.

The “single use foodware ordinance and litter reduction ordinance” would impose standards on re-usable customer cups, compostable disposable foodware, reusable foodware on premises, disposable foodware, disposable foodware waste receptacles, waivers, regulations on all food vendors and take other actions.

In addition to the “single use foodware ordinance,” the proposed City Council item would refer to the City Manager the following actions:

  1. Establish a grant program by January 1, 2020 to help prepared food vendors with one-time costs to convert to reusable food utensils for customers who “eat in” on the premises. (Reusable foodware requirements become effective on July 1, 2020.)
  2. Establish and launch a program by July 1, 2019 to provide technical assistance to prepared food vendors to implement the requirements of the “single use foodware ordinance”
  3. Create and launch with community partners a “reusable takeout foodware” program by July 1, 2021.
  4. Draft amendments to the ordinance to come to Council for approval that would implement the “reusable takeout foodware” program as an alternative to takeout foodware that is compostable. The called for amendments would also impose a charge on disposable foodware that is similar to the proposed ordinance’s 25-cents-per-cup charge on disposable cups.
  5. Create a program to expand and support composting to ensure single use foodware is actually composted.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 27 on the Dec. 11, 2018 council agenda

Read More

November 19, 2018, 7:11 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to give input on whether the City Council should amending the Berkeley Municipal Code to streamline and clarify the permitting process for small businesses in commercial districts.

The proposed ordinance would: 

  1. Reduce the amount of parking required for businesses moving into existing commercial spaces; 
  2. Simplify food service categories by reducing them from three to one; 
  3. Reduce permitting time and costs for small businesses that request a change of use in existing commercial spaces;   
  4. Clarify the permit process for new business types that may not be specifically defined in the City's zoning rules; 
  5. Make 'commercial recreation' uses (such as bowling alleys, miniature golf courses or ping pong clubs) easier to permit in commercial districts; and 
  6. Streamline the permit process and providing clear performance standards for restaurants that wish to serve beer and wine. 

The ordinance would amend Berkeley Municipal Code Chapters 23E.16, 23E.36, 23E.40, 23E.44, 23E.48, 23E.52, 23E.56, 23E.60, 23E.64, 23E.68, and 23E.98. 

The City Council asked staff to identify ways to streamline the permitting process for small businesses, in order to expand commercial district offerings and help fill vacant storefronts. Staff conducted outreach to business owners, district associations, and other stakeholders to identify the strategies described below. These changes are designed to make the permitting process for small businesses simpler, faster, and less expensive, while minimizing any adverse impacts on neighborhoods and maintaining opportunities for community participation.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 41 on the the November 27, 2018 agenda.

How would you like the City Council to decide, and what would you like them to consider?

Read More

November 5, 2018, 5:51 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to convene a visioning process on land use regulations for the site of a former steel foundry.

The City Council would like to use the input from a public process to inform the Council's future recommendation about land use regulations on the former Pacific Steel Casting site to the Planning Commission.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 7 on the Nov. 13, 2018 council agenda

Read More

November 1, 2018, 5:51 PM

We’d like your input about the merits, concerns or questions about using security cameras to deter and investigate crimes in our city parks.

As you complete our survey, we’re looking to get more information about how our community views these cameras, what limits there ought to be and to invite any other comments, concerns or questions.

This effort comes as the City Council recently approved installation of cameras at San Pablo Park as a security measure. That action came in the wake of an August 18 daytime shooting which injured three adults and occurred while many families and children were using the park.

This pilot camera program at San Pablo Park will generally be an unmonitored system, meaning that recordings will be reviewed only by police officers investigating a crime or responding to a crime in progress.

However, the City would like to get some community input about the installation of cameras at other City parks. Weigh in on this parks camera survey.

Read More

October 5, 2018, 1:34 PM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to help Council decide whether to adopt regulations regarding temporary, non-commercial objects on sidewalks and in parklets.

The first part of the proposal defines the term “temporary noncommercial objects” as personal belongings. The second part proposes a regulation for placing personal belongings on sidewalks.

You can learn more by reading Item 28 on the Oct. 16, 2018 council agenda

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the City Council Agenda Committee.  

Read more at CityofBerkeley.info

Read More

October 3, 2018, 10:03 AM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to give input on potential regulations for the cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, testing and sales of both medicinal and adult use cannabis.

This feedback will be presented by City Staff to the Council for an October 9 discussion, in which they will further hone potential regulations but will not be taking a vote.

The Council will be considering several key issues that will influence Berkeley’s cannabis regulations, including quotas, buffers, permitting process and equity.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which the City Planning Department has developed to give further input to Council.

Read More

September 21, 2018, 4:24 PM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to give input on potential regulations for the cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, testing and sales of both medicinal and adult use cannabis.

This feedback will be presented by City Staff to the Council for an October 9 discussion, in which they will further hone potential regulations but will not be taking a vote.

The Council will be considering several key issues that will influence Berkeley’s cannabis regulations, including quotas, buffers, permitting process and equity.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which the City Planning Department has developed to give further input to Council.

Read More

September 18, 2018, 6:34 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to weigh in on a Council proposal to refer to the City Manager to examine how other cities use permits to manage RV parking and to later come back to Council with a permit process that would enable RV parking.

The proposal, which will be heard by Council on Sept. 25, would also encourage placing "some sensible limits" on enabling RV Parking.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 30 on the Sept. 25, 2018 council agenda.

Read More

July 13, 2018, 11:19 AM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to help Council decide whether to adopt an ordinance that would require the registration of lobbyists and regulate lobbying activity in the City of Berkeley.

A vote on July 24 would also amend the existing Revolving Door Ordinance.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 69 on the July 24, 2018 agenda

Registered users on Berkeley Considers can post their comments online with or without their name. Anyone can view registered comments. The goal of the forum is to broaden civic discourse in a constructive and civil manner.

Read More

June 27, 2018, 5:20 PM

Help the City of Berkeley better prepare for disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, and climate change by filling out a short questionnaire.

Your anonymous feedback will help us to better share information and science about disaster risk. It will also help inform the City's current and future disaster readiness programs.

The questionnaire will be available until September 30, 2018 on the Berkeley Considers platform.

Read More

May 23, 2018, 4:53 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to send a letter to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors requesting that they increase the number of slots for Assisted Outpatient Treatment for mental health.

The letter the Council is considering sending would ask to increase the number of slots from 30 to 50 and would assign 10 of those slots for people who are homeless in Berkeley.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 16 on the May 29, 2018 Agenda.

Read More

May 17, 2018, 7:55 PM

Give input using the City’s online forum on the key elements of the Adeline Corridor, where the City has been leading a community engagement effort to develop a vision for the area.

The online forum leads people through a series of exhibits identifying key planning issues, which were presented to the public in March through a series of workshops and open houses.

Read More

May 8, 2018, 5:14 PM

Use the City of Berkeley’s online forum to help Council decide whether to modify, clarify and further streamline the permitting process for accessory dwelling units, which are often referred to as ADUs.

The ordinance the Council is considering would expand zoning districts where ADUs are allowed, modify their height limits, increase floor area limits and make other changes.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 40 on the May 15, 2018Agenda

Read More

April 27, 2018, 4:30 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to support a state bill seeking to increase student housing by eliminating parking requirements for student-only developments.

The bill the Council is considering supporting would require that 20 percent of the units be reserved for low-income students for 55 years. The proposed council action would also urge the state to increase the density bonus for these projects to 35 percent - increasing the total percentage of units for buildings that meet the proposed requirements.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 23 on the May 1, 2018 Agenda

Read More

April 18, 2018, 9:54 AM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to refer a proposed law - on reducing single use, disposable foodware - to the Zero Waste Commission for further development.

The referral directs the commission to invite input from key stakeholders, hold public meetings to obtain input on the proposed Ordinance and report outreach, analysis, and recommendations back to the City Council.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 34 on the April 24, 2018 agenda.

Read More

March 27, 2018, 5:48 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to refer to the Health Commission development of a law regulating the concurrent sales of gasoline and alcoholic beverages.

Any law created by the Health Commission would need to come back to the City Council for public discussion and final approval.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 9 on the April 3, 2018 agenda.

Registered users on Berkeley Considers - found at www.cityofberkeley.info/considers - can post their comments online with or without their name. Anyone can view registered comments. The goal of the forum is to broaden civic discourse in a constructive and civil manner.

Read More

March 16, 2018, 11:07 AM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to modify development standards for rear-yard, second dwelling units in R-1A zoning districts.

The modifications would change the Zoning Ordinance to:

  1. Restrict rear Main Buildings to two stories, with a maximum average height of 22 feet (where the zoning currently allows Main Buildings up to 28 feet by right and up to 35 feet with a Use Permit);
  2. Increase the side yard setback for a rear Main Building to 6 feet, where the current requirement is 4 feet;
  3. Limit reductions in the rear yard setback to between 20 and 12 feet from the rear property line, where currently a reduction can be granted to as little as zero feet;
  4. Create a minimum separation between Main Buildings on a property matching that of the R-2 District (there currently is no such provision in the R-1A District); and
  5. Apply all changes consistently throughout the R-1A District, i.e. in both the West Berkeley and the Westbrae portions of the R-1A District.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 25 on the March 27, 2018 agenda.

Read More

March 2, 2018, 4:34 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help Council decide whether to establish a more specific process and more precise standards for evaluating "significant community benefit" packages for downtown buildings exceeding 75 feet.

The proposal Council is considering on March 13 would also rescind Resolution No. 67,172, which, in 2015, established a process and standards for evaluating "significant community benefit" packages for downtown buildings over 75 feet.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 28 on  the March 13, 2018 agenda.

Read More

February 16, 2018, 5:00 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to inform whether the City Council should ask the Transportation Commission to draft an ordinance preventing an individual owner from parking "many multiples" of vehicles on any given street or contiguous streets.

Should the council make such a referral, the Transportation Commission would then draft an ordinance that would come back to Council for final approval.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 9 on  the February 27, 2018 agenda.

Read More

February 6, 2018, 1:20 PM

Use the City of Berkeley's online forum to help inform the City Council as they consider a number of changes to the City's "residential preferential parking" program.

The proposed changes would:

  • expand the number of areas eligible to apply for Residential Preferential Parking
  • allow the program in Mixed-Use Residential zones
  • cap the number of annual permits residents may purchase
  • raise permit fees to eliminate the Program's operating deficit.
  • authorize new meters in West Berkeley to manage commercial parking adjacent to residences in mixed-use areas.

View and give input on this Berkeley Considers topic, which was selected by the Council Agenda Committee. Learn more by reading Item 30 on  the February 13, 2018 agenda.

Read More

September 22, 2017, 3:57 PM

With a series of provocative speakers coming to UC Berkeley next week, protests and counter-protests are possible.  

The question for our Berkeley community is how best to respond. For City administration, the perspective is clear: separate yourself from violence and don't become an actor in someone else's media campaign. 

To start a community-wide dialogue about this, we’ve created a moderated online forum to post your views – and consider others.  

Read More