District 6 Against Honda move to 2777 Shattuck!
Dear Councilmember Susan Wengraf,
South Shattuck neighbors have spent the last two years fighting Berkeley Honda’s plan to move a 14-bay repair shop and new car dealership into the former Any Mountain building at 2777 Shattuck.
Honda’s permit request violates Berkeley’s Municipal Code and is detrimental to South Berkeley’s neighborhood and dangerous for ALL people who pass through Shattuck between Ward and Stuart.
We in District 6 of Berkeley urge you, Councilmember Susan Wengraf to not abstain from the next city council vote on February 28. We urge you to vote in favor of the appellant in this appeal to keep Honda from being permitted to move to 2777 Shattuck Avenue.
When the project was originally proposed, Berkeley residents had major concerns about traffic, noise, parking, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and failure to follow the Berkeley municipal code. Since then traffic along Shattuck Avenue has gotten much, much, worse. Since November 2016 there have been at least three witnessed collisions, including one involving a child on a bicycle. Imagine what it would be like with cars and trucks pulling in and out of the garage door that Honda wants to install between Sconehenge and Kirala.
Imagine southbound trucks and cars on Shattuck, exactly where two lanes merge into one, trying to make a left turn to enter the site in the middle of the block just as northbound traffic stopped at the Ward street light is blocking the garage entrance.
Not only would this affect AC transit buses on Shattuck, but it is also on a designated walk-to-school route for kids going to LeConte and Willard School. We have no objection to Berkeley Honda as a company. This project is simply too large for the space and has design features too dangerous for the location.
VIOLATION OF EXISTING CITY PLANS
The project is in violation of the Berkeley Municipal Code. The BMC prohibits new auto repair businesses in the area, unless the repair is an “ancillary” part of the business, which it clearly is not in Honda’s case.
ZAB improperly approved Berkeley Honda’s plan to reserve 51 feet of public right of way along the Adeline triangle for car and parts deliveries. Through the Adeline Corridor project, residents and the city have identified this as a prime opportunity site for much needed open space, including a dedicated bike lane and enhanced pedestrian amenities. South Berkeley has far less open space than most Berkeley neighborhoods. Why is Honda being allowed to take over public right of way for its private use?
If City Council does not reverse ZAB’s approval of the Berkeley Honda project, it will take South Berkeley backwards environmentally and socially. It will jeopardize grant funding for infrastructure improvements. Housing is currently being built that will bring hundreds of new neighbors into our Adeline Corridor neighborhoods; we need services and businesses that support the community and the residents who will be living here.
We urge you Councilmember Wengraf to rule in favor of the appellant in the next vote on February 28. As your constituents of District 6 in Berkeley, we will be following this issue to see how you vote.
We are deeply concerned about the safety of Le Conte Elementary students and Willard Middle School students who use this route to go to school!