California

Zucchini-gate or Bust: Berkeley’s Battle for Affordable Housing

richard nixon color zuch final
Comments (2)
  1. It seems unlikely that someone would object to goals of adding available housing stock or redeveloping a property if the project was suitable for the piece of property on which it sits and for the neighborhood. In this particular case (and likely many others), a redevelopment plan probably represents a too-intensive use of the property, leading to neighbors’ objections.

    The picture in the article shows a small home on a lot with a considerably taller home next to it. If the existing footprint of the smaller home were retained but a second floor added with an entrance, this might be acceptable to the neighbors and the new building could house two families and likely still be smaller and lower than the home next to it. However, it may be that the builder’s intention is to widen and deepen the home’s footprint and also raise the building’s height; if so, this more intensive and neighbor-intrusive use may be what is objectionable.

    What’s needed here is reasonable compromise to help satisfy both parties and objectives. Unfortunately, this can be hard to achieve.

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