petitionA rare turn of events suggests that taking initiative does indeed get things done (depending on your perspective.) At least such is the case for the anti Downtown Berkeley development folks. In the face of … uncalculated odds and alleged harassment by pro-Downtowners, the Alliance for a Green and Livable Downtown managed to round up more than enough signatures to shoot down the City Council’s official plan. Back to the drawing board, guys.

Five thousand five hundred fifty-eight signatures in 30 days were needed to halt the plan for revision or a public vote yea or nay, and around 9,200 signatures were gathered—more than enough to account for invalid signatures and possibly the most ever gathered by a petition in Berkeley. Woah! That’s over 9000. “Green and Livable” must have quite a ring.

Editor’s Note: As a clarification, the purpose of the petition was to place the current Downtown Area Plan on a ballot, not to dismiss it altogether.

Image Source: mrtwism under Creative Commons.
City Clerk Confirms 9,200 Signatures Submitted for Downtown Plan Referendum; Verification Process to Begin [Daily Planet]
Berkeley downtown plan foes meet signature goal [Mercury News]

building erection 2If at first you don’t succeed, circulate a petition. Or so seems to be the plan of those put off by the thought of a higher, denser Downtown. The city council’s recent decision to OK the construction of 100 and some 200 feet towers will be suspended and then revised or put on a public ballot if the Alliance for a Green and Livable Downtown manages to round up 5,558 signatures by August 20. Before you put your ‘X’ on anything, take a peek at what both sides are saying:

Nay: The plan does not support affordable housing. Many of the residences will reach the $900,000 – $1 million range (slightly beyond the means of even a Clog salary.) read more »