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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Wreaking Ball to Take Out More Single Family Homes in Emeryville's 'Zone of Stability'

Planning Director Charlie Bryant:
Mum's the Word on the Zones of Stability

He Thinks it's Best if Decision Makers are Kept in the Dark

News Analysis

Will someone get up and change the record? It keeps skipping, playing the same thing over and over.

Next up for the wreaking ball in Emeryville are two existing adjacent single family homes on Doyle Street, to be replaced with a six-plex condo scheme, divided into to two three-plexes siding a mews.  And the whole thing is aided by a City Staff that thinks it's best if the Planning Commission deciders don't know that the homes in question are in a planning zone meant to save this housing stock.  It's a story that keeps repeating in Emeryville: the decision makers are kept in the dark about dictates from the General Plan while developers keep tearing down single family homes despite a specific proclamation in the General Plan that this stock of homes in the 'zone of stability' area are to be saved.
The newest proposed development, called the Doyle Street Mews at 5876 and 5880 Doyle Street also increases density beyond what the General Plan allows for in the neighborhood but the developer is kicking into a fund to assist "locally serving" businesses, thereby netting him a 'bonus' that automatically permits the extra density.
Emeryville Planning Director
Charlie Bryant

'To help developers, it's best if we
don't mention anything about the
zones of stability.' 

Rapidly rising real estate prices are proving too tempting for developers shut out of the already developed 'areas of potential change' identified by the General Plan and the two homes slated for demolition by the Doyle Street Mews totals six single family homes slated for or already razed in the zone of stability over the last two years alone.  The City Staff, leftovers hired by the previous pro-developer City Council majority, is also tempted, too tempted to assist in redeveloping the neighborhoods of detached single family homes in town and they have purposely kept the Planning Commission and the City Council in the dark that all these homes are in the zones of stability.

The zones of stability were bones thrown to the residents of Emeryville in 2009 when the General Plan was being re-written.  Many residents were concerned that so much of the town was being so massively redeveloped and they expressed desires that the residential neighborhoods of North Emeryville and the Triangle neighborhood be retained.  Under pressure from developers, the City directed the General Plan to be prepared to dramatically increase building heights and increase density over the whole town but set aside these neighborhoods in trade.
Proposed Doyle Street Mews
Oceans of stucco.

By hoodwinking the Planning Commission
we get this.  Ever seen anything like this 
in Emeryville?
After years of development in the so called 'areas of potential change', developers are still not satisfied and the zone of stability designation has come under increasing pressure to be pushed aside.  The City Council so far has not had the temerity to amend the General Plan to get rid of the protection provided by the zones of stability designation, settling instead on these piecemeal approvals of projects.
The City Staff, by not even telling the decision makers that the proposed project is in the zone of stability helps the developers with demolitions even if in so doing they subvert their purpose to accurately provide unbiased information for Emeryville's decision makers.

The Tattler has reported on this problem that isn't called a problem by the City of Emeryville since 2011.
Seeking not to be puerile, it is to be assumed after the third or fourth time the City Staff failed to reveal the fact that a proposed demolition is in the zone of stability, the Planning Commission and the City Council are in on the scam.

Nonetheless, the Planning Commission will take up the issue, ostensibly without knowledge these homes are in the General Plan designated zone of stability, at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.

Reprinted from Emeryville's General Plan:
Yellow area represents the 'Doyle Mews'.
The City Staff can't read their own legend?
...let's see, is the grey zone an area of potential change
or an area of stability?


  1. You ask for thoughtful comments so here's one: the two houses to be torn down are ugly and druggie ghetto dens. It's where councilman Ken Bukowski used to live. Need I say more? But it's true the staff should not hide the fact it's in the area of stability. The planning comish could still vote to tear them down and build Doyle Mews, a vast improvement.

    1. I have no argument with your assessment. Salient point of agreement: as you say, "...the staff should not hide...". We don't pay them to hide stuff from us. Just the opposite actually.

  2. I agree with the city; this is not a problem. It's just you trying to stir things up. Obviously the proposal is better than what's there. Who cares if the staff doesn't report on every possible thing from the general plan. What matters is we manage to improve our town. In the end, does it really matter as long as we get an improvement? No it doesn't. You are just trying for clicks on your site. Enough.

    1. Transparency is overrated! Enough! We Emeryville residents want deceit and deception out of our government and how dare the Tattler ask for open governance at City Hall! The Tattler just wants to cash in by use of click bait. We know you just want to charge more for all the ads we see everywhere in the Tattler. You're just corrupt, trying to make money...that's all. Enough.