Thursday, April 12, 2018

Thursday’s Briefing: Amazon to Open Brick-and-Mortar Store in Berkeley; Another New Bill Would Force Cities to Build More Housing

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 10:49 AM

click to enlarge amazon-logo.jpg
Stories you shouldn’t miss for April 12, 2018:

1. Online giant Amazon is planning to open a large brick-and-mortar store in Berkeley’s Fourth Street shopping district, reports Frances Dinkelspiel of Berkeleyside, citing three unnamed sources. Amazon, which over the years has put many small brick-and-mortars out of business through steep online discounts, is moving into the old Crate and Barrel space. It’s not clear if the company plans to open an Amazon bookstore or an Amazon Go store in which customers scan their smartphones as they enter and then can walk out with whatever they want and are charged later.

2. State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, has introduced another bill — SB 828 — that would require cities to build more housing, reports Liam Dillon of the LA Times$. SB 828 would mandate that cities identify more land for housing in order for the state to meet its housing needs. The legislation has not received as much attention as Wiener’s other bill — SB 827 — which would require cities to allow denser and taller housing project near transit, but experts say SB 828 could end up producing more housing.

3. The state Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court ruling that found Oakland’s system for levying fines against landlords who fail to maintain their buildings is illegal, reports Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle. The lower court concluded that cities like Oakland must create independent hearing panels to hear appeals by landlords whom cities want to fine for blighted conditions and that Oakland’s system of appointing a single hearing officer to oversee appeals violates state law.

4. The University of California reached an agreement with California’s community college system to allow more junior college transfers to UC schools, reports Nanette Asimov of the San Francisco Chronicle. Under the agreement, community college students who do well in required classes will automatically receive admission to a UC campus.

5. Former Alameda City Councilmember Tony Daysog announced that he’s running again for city council this year, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. Daysog, who served on the council from 1996 to 2006, and again from 2012 to 2016, said he’s running to try to restore confidence in City Hall following the controversy involving City Manager Jill Keimach, who was placed on administrative leave after she alleged that two councilmembers illegally interfered in her job duties.

6. Kate Pryor and David Lee, the longtime owners of Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream, an Alameda institution, have sold the business to another Alameda family, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The new owners of Tucker's are Stephen Zimmerman, Erika Zimmerman, Lauren Zimmerman Cook, and Joshua Cook. Stephen Zimmerman and Lauren Zimmerman Cook, who are siblings, also operate their family business, AEC Living, which runs skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

7. And Faction Brewing, the popular brewery at Alameda Point, has secured a 10-year lease renewal at the former naval station, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The new lease deal also includes two additional 10-year lease options.

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