Search The Tattler

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How They Voted

Demolish Historic, Architecturally Significant Building?

At the Tattler, we've noticed the city council and other deliberative bodies in Emeryville make controversial votes that get forgotten by the residents over time. In deference to the general edification of public policy and to strengthen Emeryville's democratic institutions, we will publish occasional short reminders on how the Power Elite in town have voted on these controversial issues.

On January 20, 2009, the vote before the council was:

Should Madison Park Development Corporation be granted permission to tear down a two story brick building at 3900 Adeline Street, deemed by the city to be one of the few remaining "architecturally significant" and "historically significant" buildings to build another condo podium development?

Nora Davis - YES
Ken Bukowski - YES
Dick Kassis - YES

Ruth Atkin - NO
John Fricke - NO

Note: The General Plan calls for rehabilitating this building but Madison Park Development, a politically well connected corporate power player in Emeryville stated their profit margin wouldn't be as high as it would be by tearing down the building. The three council members were impressed enough with this argument to say YES.


  1. I remember this...weren't there more than just this historic building they authorized be torn down?

  2. Did these council members explain why we have identified buildings as historically and architecturally significant if that doesn't offer the slighted protection?

  3. Please report this to Alameda County. There are laws to protect these buildings that go above and beyond a city council.

  4. Emeryville has many progressive resident friendly laws that exist only to give the town a (false) sense of legitimacy, as if it is in league with other towns. The council members are fond of touting these laws at re-election time. These laws are routinely broken by the council. Some include the General Plan, the Bike/Pedestrian Plan, the Noise Ordinance, the Tree Ordinance and the Historical Preservation Ordinance. We've got these laws just like other towns; neighbors Oakland and Berkeley for instance...the only difference is our laws aren't obeyed, they're only there for show.

  5. I remember this. Weren't there some others buildings they also approved developers to tear down? You should remind us about them as well.

  6. Again, this blog only fixates on the negative. You only tell people that the council disobeyed the historical preservation ordinance, you don't tell them about all the jobs the council created by allowing the new building to be built. I say thank God our council is looking toward the future in Emeryville and NOT fixated on the past. You're wrong about the laws only being there for show, old city hall building was saved. All you want to do with this blog is concentrate on telling people about the bad stuff the council does and then you don't tell us their intentions to make it look like they're really bad people. You should shut this thing down or start telling people about how great Emeryville is.

  7. I'm in favor of all buildings older than 10 years being torn down in Emeryville in favor of modern new buildings created for large corporations. With unemployment so high in California, we should be happy that corporations give us jobs rather than turning us out on the streets!

  8. Whether or not you believe that the building in questions has historical merit, this blog's assertion that the law was broken is incorrect. There was no violation of the Historic Preservation Ordinance or any other ordinance. You may disagree with the Council's decision--and it is good to have debate about these things--but you need to know that the law was not broken.

  9. Note to readers-

    The anonymous commenter above is incorrect, the Historical Preservation Ordinance law was broken by this action by the council.

    Having said that, no one can go to jail since there has been no criminal act with this. Like every law the council makes, they can break it without criminal penalty. So the laws are routinely broken since there's no punitive provision in the law to discourage the breaking of the law.

    Since the council members are so fond of telling voters about the resident friendly laws they pass, its pretty obvious these laws are for show only. They just exist to re-elect council members.

  10. Oh, and its immaterial if anyone thinks the building in question has historical merit. The point is that the historical preservation law says this building has historical merit. All else is here-say.

  11. Brian, I'm afraid you need to read the historic preservation ordinance (Article 67 of the Emeryville Zoning Code.) Section 9-4.67.4 clearly states that the City Council must approve the demolition of any "significant structure" as defined by the criteria in Section 9-4.67.2 and pursuant to the findings in Section 9-4.67.8.

    THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED HERE! The only protection that the ordinance gives to significant structures is that the Council must approve the demolition. That is what they did in this case. You are clearly wrong. You really should read the ordinance before you make false claims. You can go ahead and insult me now as you always do, but I am right.

  12. 10:41 is rephrasing what I'm saying and then adding, inexplicably that I'm wrong. If you want to prove someone wrong, you need to show how something is counter to what is stated. Please read your 10:41 comments and then read my 10:13 and 6:18 comments. Try removing the personalities involved to help with your critical analysis.

    If you're trying for a larger point, I'm not sure what it is.