The following statement from Dan Bristol, Zelda Bronstein, Erica Cleary, Jackie DeBose, Robert Lauriston, Laura Menard, Osha Neumann, Kenoli Oleari, John Selawsky, Les Shipnuck, Ozzie Vincent, and Robin Wright constitutes the first step in formalizing the organization that grew out of the January 17 Citizens' Information Forum.
1. GOAL: Development at and around Ashby BART must embody our highest aspirations for our neighborhood. We are not afraid to dream big.
2. DEMOCRATIC PROCESS: To reach that goal we need an open, community-led, collaborative planning process involving all stakeholders, including neighborhood residents, businesses, community organizations, government, BART commuters from both Berkeley and Oakland, and all other interested parties. Specifically, the Berkeley Flea Market, Ashby Arts District, and Ed Roberts Campus must be actively involved.
3. APPROPRIATE DENSITY: Berkeley is the second-densest city in the Bay Area, and existing housing already exceeds the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's density target of 3,850 dwelling units within a half-mile radius of the BART station. Other BART neighborhoods should match our density before ours is increased further.
4. OPEN SPACE: A direct consequence of the neighborhood's high density is a lack of open space and recreational facilities. Children who live north of University Ave. have four times as much open and recreational space nearby as South Berkeley kids. The Ashby BART west parking lot is, in its funky way, the largest open space in the area.
5. FLEA MARKET: The Berkeley Flea Market stays where it is. The market is a unique and irreplaceable local institution with broad support. It has a lease with BART and will not move.
6. PARKING: The number of spaces available to BART commuters must not be reduced. The surrounding neighborhoods are already impacted by demand for commuter parking exceeding the capacity of the BART lots, and development should not exacerbate the problem.
7. COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING: The piecemeal development that has haphazardly reshaped Berkeley over recent decades must stop. Planning for the Ashby BART site must take into account its effects on future development elsewhere in the neighborhood, including cumulative effects. Any development must enhance the surrounding landmark and historic buildings, the small-scale residences along Martin Luther King, and the Ed Roberts Campus.
This is what we stand for. If you share our vision, please join NABART. If you have a different vision, please work with us with mutual respect and love for our community to create an open and inclusive public planning process.