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In addition to local developer contributions made directly to his campaign Capitelli is also benefiting from independent expenditures from outside Berkeley. The National Association of Realtors Fund reported to the City yesterday spending of $39,384.63 to support his candidacy.
Measure T is actually trailing by 494 votes as of the end of the day on Wednesday, 11/14. As for being too close to call, it's past that. It's defeated. There aren't enough votes left to count to overturn its lead, especially since a majority of provisionals counted to date have been No on T. You could check here for details: http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-… .
Unfortunately, I think Measure B1 has also lost; the remaining 7000 provisional votes, even if they are all from Berkeley or Oakland, are not likely to be enough.
Measure T in Berkeley is now losing by 426 votes after about 10,000 absentees were counted on Saturday.
Oops. You reversed the vote on Berkeley Measure S. It's currently losing 17,411 to 16,356. 51.6% No. This breaks down to 57% No on votes cast at the polls and 58% yes for initial absentee results reported last night.
"In truth, Measure T excludes Aquatic Park from development." The issue is what does Measure T say about development on parcels adjacent to the park; I don't know of anyone who is saying that the park itself would be developed.
Regarding adjacent parcels, the measure leaves most things to future action by the City Council. It does say that on adjacent parcels, a project can't "unreasonably" create shadows, degrade visual quality or degrade pedestrian access. But what does "unreasonably" mean?
Beyond that the Council has to adopt measures related to height, FAR, setbacks, etc. but they could set any standards they choose which might or might not preclude the kind of buildings that opponents portray in their literature. Why aren't these things spelled out in the measure? Why not specify height limitations and setbacks on parcels adjacent to Aquatic Park? This would not have been hard to write into the measure. The Sierra Club is not supporting this measure because all this stuff is left out; the people I know in the club are against T. The club supported Measure R, the downtown measure in 2010 but that measure didn't just call for permitting greater density; it included what the City would get in return. And while I'm at it, why is there no mention or support for green building standards in this measure. Measure R included green building standards for downtown; don't we want West Berkeley to be green too? Peerless Greens talks about green building (LEED, etc.), which is good, but who's to say that the other 5 possible MUPs (more possible after ten years) would have any green features at all since none are required or even incentivized. If some of the things that Peerless Greens proposes to do were required of all developers, then Measure T would be a very different measure. In exchange for allowing greater density, which makes development more profitable for property owner and developer, the city is in a position to ask for things in return. But that's not what Measure T does.
-Rob Wrenn (not a big fan of Robert Gammon because of his one-sided reporting of Bus Rapid Transit in Berkeley several years ago)
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