Residential Housing Projects May be Put on Hold in Emeryville
The Emeryville City Council voted unanimously last night to direct the city staff to craft language to hand down a city-wide residential building moratorium for at least 45 days with provisions to extend that time. The proposal was initiated by Councilwoman Jac Asher who cited recent resident exasperation at the rapid pace of apartment building in town, saying of the action, "We need to hit the pause button."
The moratorium is being pursued for all aspects of all residential development proposals in the approval process. Ms Asher said the areas of concern that residents have been vocal about include unit mix, family friendliness, ownership vs rental and out-of-date 'density bonuses' granted to developers that are encoded at City Hall. The Councilwoman also noted the scale and the speed at which new projects are coming at the Council combined with the sense that the community feels the last parcels of fallow land should be more carefully considered contributed to her decision to call for a moratorium, "If we have anything on our side, it's time" and "People want us to do better" she added. Mayor Ruth Atkin agreed, postulating, "We're seeing these large projects not meet community needs."
City Attorney Mike Biddle said after 45 days an extension to the moratorium could be granted if certain findings could be made and he said building moratoriums can be extended up to two years maximum.
The Council agreed to vote on the moratorium at a special meeting to be convened on February 13th at 5:00.