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NIMBYs to Developer: Your Proposed Building Blocks Too Much Sun, Reminds Us of Native American Genocide

Hysterical NIMBYism reaches new heights in Berkeley.

Berkeley Department of Planning & DevelopmentBerkeley Department of Planning & DevelopmentPlans to build an apartment complex on a vacant lot in Berkeley have attracted heated opposition from neighbors and from city zoning officials. They suggest that the proposed building is too large, that it will block out needed sunlight, and that it resembles the genocide of the Native Americans.

For nearly two decades, a series of developers has tried to put up multi-family housing on a site boarding Shattuck Avenue in this California town. All of those efforts have come to naught. Building permits were granted in 2001 and 2007 for smaller 16-unit and 21-unit projects, respectively, but those withered on the vine and were never built. In 2013, zoning officials shot down a proposal for a 67-unit micro-apartment complex on the grounds that it was much too large and out of character for the neighborhood.

Now a fourth developer—identified as 2701 Shattuck Berkeley, LLC—is taking a crack at the cursed lot. Last Thursday, Shattuck representative Stuart Gruendl presented plans to the zoning board for a 57-unit apartment building comprised mostly of small, 350-square-foot studio apartments, with space reserved for retail business on the ground floor.

The latest design is an "intelligent smart-growth project on a major transit line," said Gruendl, who described the proposed building as "affordable-by-design," with five units reserved for very-low-income renters (defined as individuals making $40,700 or less) and the rest rented out for $5 a square foot.

Now, $1,500 a month for a 300-square-foot studio apartment is hardly a bargain in most of the country. But in Berkeley, where the average rent is roughly $3,100 and the average studio rental is $2,200, this is practically a steal.

Far from jumping at the opportunity to approve new housing in their high-priced community, members of the zoning board reacted to Gruendl's presentation as though he had proposed a zombie apocalypse.

"One of the very first comments I made on the first project on this site I'll repeat again tonight because it's still the same problem," said Board Member Carrie Olson. "You all seen the movie Rear Window? This is an insane invasion of privacy for the folks who live next door. This is not how we do things in Berkeley."

Other members seconded this view, complaining that building's size had still not been reduced enough from the 2013 project they rejected.

"The points of denial [for the 2013 project] in substance apply to this project as well," said Board Member Patrick Sheahan. "It's simply too big, too large."

For Substitute Board Member Toni Mester, the building was not just too large; it was in the wrong place. "It's on the wrong side of the street. If it were on the other side of the street, we wouldn't have the same issues." The problem, apparently, was the sunlight the building would block. "Berkleyeans depend on the afternoon sun. It's what we live for."

Some of the neighbors seemed perturbed too.

"Berkeley needs to prioritize a livable, sustainable environment for people who already live here," said Todd Darling, who owns a property next to the proposed development. "Yes, 40 percent of midwestern college graduates want to move to California. But we are not obligated to sacrifice what is best about Berkeley to build dorm rooms for them."

Darling preemptively dismissed arguments that building more housing would make housing more affordable, saying that the "Pilgrims used the same arguments against the natives in Massachusetts." And we all know how that story ended!

The 2701 Shattuck development is hardly the only multi-family housing project to attract the ire of Berkeley townspeople. It's not even the only project on Shattuck Avenue to do so.

Earlier in July, Berkeley's zoning board shot down a proposal to construct a 23-unit apartment building at 3000 Shattuck. As Berkeleyside reports, similar concerns about that building's size, dormitory-like interior design, and lack of below-market units persuaded the zoning board to vote against the project, 7–2.

Despite the persistent opposition to the 2701 Shattuck development, the project might yet succeed where others have failed. The state's Density Bonus law overrides some local zoning restrictions in exchange for renting out some units at below-market rates. And a 2017 amendment to California's Housing Accountability Act similarly bars local governments from rejecting density bonus projects on the size of the project alone. This limits what Berkeley's zoning board mostly to demanding aesthetic changes to the project, a fact that clearly frustrated board members at last Thursday's meeting.

But there is a still a lot of wiggle room for bureaucrats to grind the project to a halt, so the 2701 Shattuck project is hardly over the finish line yet. And even if it succeeds, it will be a drop in the bucket compared to the housing California communities need to build to start bring rental prices down.

Photo Credit: Toxawww/Dreamstime.com

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  • Rich||

    "This is an insane invasion of privacy for the folks who live next door. This is not how we do things in Berkeley."

    "In Berkeley, our invasions of privacy are *sane*."

  • wareagle||

    I would have thought "insane" was in perfect alignment with how things get done there.

  • Rich||

    The latest design is an "intelligent smart-growth project"

    If only it were a compassionate social-justice project.

  • Juice||

    Exactly. Just bill it as that to head them off at the pass. Preemptive virtue signaling.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

  • Jimbo||

    Intelligent AND smart! What's not to like??
    Maybe call it an Intelligent Smart-Sustainable Commune?

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    This is so easy. Have a church come in and try to build something. Let that try to pass. Then have another developer come in to save them from that horrible religion. A really stringent church, like Church of Christ or Baptist, should be the pariah on this one.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    And build in the shape of a vagina. A transgendered vagina. Commit to a 500sqft museum celebrating the gender confused.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    A transgendered vagina.

    That's just a hollowed out squid mantle, right?
  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Oh balls I put my text in the block quote. Oh well.

  • Finrod||

    I think the Pentecostals wold probably scare them the most.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Me to NIMBYs: Your complaints remind me of the Kristallnacht.

  • CDRSchafer||

    I see your Native American card and raise you a Nazi card.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Plans to build an apartment complex on a vacant lot in Berkeley

    Also, I see the first flaw in the plan...

  • Jimbo||

    Also: it's the only remaining habitat of the Berkeley Barking Spider.

  • Aloysious||

    The developer should build downwards, not upwards. He could name it "The Mines of Morlockia".

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Don't be an insensitive clod. Native Americans dug downwards put fish and corn in the ground to grow maize, but the white man came and trampled it.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    So digging is cultural appropriation?

  • Aloysious||

    But... I am an insensitive clod. Just ask any of my ex-girlfriends.

  • Bob Armstrong||

    That's how things are done in WDC .

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Self parody at its finest. Has anyone tried building down instead of up?

  • Aloysious||

    *looks at time stamp*

    *giggles*

  • ||

    Pilgrims used the same arguments against the natives in Massachusetts

    I don't think that's true, actually.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't think that's true, actually.

    Hitler said the same thing to Poland.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    But did he beat you to it? Because I'd have a hard time picturing that.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Darling preemptively dismissed arguments that building more housing would make housing more affordable, saying that the "Pilgrims used the same arguments against the natives in Massachusetts."

    Does...does...this guy not know why the Pilgrims came to this country? I don't think it had anything to do with affordable housing

  • Mark22||

    Does...does...this guy not know why the Pilgrims came to this country? I don't think it had anything to do with affordable housing

    Obviously, they were wealthy, privileged white male religious nuts out to kill themselves some minorities for fun! /sarc

  • Longtobefree||

    Exactly. No way at all were they fleeing religious persecution looking for a place where they could impose their own religious persecution.

  • ||

    Berkeley needs to prioritize a livable, sustainable environment for people who already live here

    And there goes the mask! North Berkeley, where this project is being proposed, is, shall we say, a fairly affluent area. This is a pretty thin veneer of Progressive-speak over a fundamental attitude of "keep those dirty poor people in West Berkeley and Oakland, where they belong!"

  • Just Say'n||

    To be fair, the only real racists I've ever met in my life have been white affluent urban liberals. They are the only ones who can afford to hold such opinions. So this isn't something unique to Berkeley

  • Just Say'n||

    It's also fun to see Berkeley, the heart of the #Resist movement, repeating the president's talking point about immigration

  • ||

    It's also fun to see Berkeley, the heart of the #Resist movement, repeating the president's talking point about immigration

    *Boom*

  • Mark22||

    Berkeley liberals are entitled to being as racist as they can be!

    After all, they have already done their part by #Resisting...on Twitter.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Yes, but their racism is "for the good of those other people".

  • juris imprudent||

    Well, those people wouldn't feel comfortable in our neighborhood. So yes, we are really only thinking about their feelings.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    There are Italian cold cuts, and other things which would only frighten and confuse them.

  • ||

    I don't even understand what to call those things. Just gimme some baloney and stop complicating things, amirite?

  • Jimbo||

    I do speak jive...

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Triggered.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Eh gimme the gabagooo wid da vinegar peppas eh and the mutzadell!

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I could introduce you to my sister-in-law, but honestly, you haven't done anything to deserve that.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm sure there are bigots in every income bracket. Maybe, I've only noticed it from wealthy whites because of where I live. Generally, though, I think it's pretty unfair that they constantly get to couch their bigotry in issues like development or public education and no one ever calls them out on it.

  • ||

    I'm sure there are bigots in every income bracket.

    Yeah - it's a difference of style more than substance. When I was a teenager (in the 80s, so not really necessarily relevant experience anymore), one of my best friend's dads was a retired police officer, living off a combination of a pension and working as a security guard (he'd been shot on the job several years before I knew him).

    His parents were unbelievably racist. Openly and proudly. Even expressed the opinion that Hitler had some good ideas, he just picked the wrong races. Just to be clear: should have been blacks and Mexicans.

    I didn't regularly rub elbows with the affluent until I got to grad school in the late 90s, by which time even people like my friend's parents knew not to say such things out loud. The racism was still really noticeable, though, it was just couched in much more polite-sounding language about how the dark-skinned people are closer to Nature, and such.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Everybody needs someone in the pecking order below them to look down on. Lately it's political, but socio-economic is the go to.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Oh, yeah. I wasn't meaning to twit you, I just saw an opportunity for an in-law joke and leapt - LEAPT - into that gap.

  • Longtobefree||

    So you have never met a black person?

  • MarkLastname||

    Hmm, what does this sentiment sound like? Let's keep our people from other places lest people already here have to compete with them for space and whatnot. Who else does that sound like? Throw in a "they took our jerbs" and these Berkeleyans could pass for the most buck toothed red necks in Appalachia.

  • No Longer Amused||

    You meant "effluent area".....

  • ||

    That, too, yes.

  • Happy Chandler||

    This is South Berkeley. Less affluent than North Berkeley, but Elmwood is creeping west past Telegraph and towards Shattuck.

    I'm sure the things at the self-storage unit next door worry about their privacy, too.

  • ||

    Well - right you are! I was thinking this was up by Cheese Board.

    That's not such an affluent area right there, and in fact was a little scuzzy when I was working there ten years ago (I managed the conversion of Berkeley High East Campus into that field that's there now - also did the pre-school across the street).

    In that, case, I'm even more confused. Are they mad that it might impact the ambiance of the abandoned ice rink?

  • Happy Chandler||

    That's now a Sports Basement.

  • ||

    My. Now that I think of it, I'm not really sure when the last time I was in that area was. I lived in Temescal up until 10 years ago, but I was absolutely shocked when I've gone to Telegraph in the 40s in recent years and found it all swanky and upscale. I was actually carjacked on Telegraph & 40th in about 1994, and now it's all hipstered out.

    I suppose tearing down the high school helped - it had become a de facto homeless encampment - along with Rockridge, Temescal, and Elmwood spilling over into South Berkeley proper.

    That makes it seem even weirder that there's such opposition to this - it's not like that neighborhood used to be "charming" - far from it.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Every housing development finds trouble. West Berkeley, South Berkeley, downtown.

    Temescal keeps changing. Now there's a pizza/beer place at 40th and MLK that I take my toddler to. They have a great play area.

    Jerry Brown did a great job in Oakland. They actually built housing near downtown!

  • ||

    Now there's a pizza/beer place at 40th and MLK that I take my toddler to. They have a great play area.

    You have no idea how surreal that sounds to me. In the 90s those motels at 40th and Telegraph were where all the prostitutes and drug dealers were, and 40th and MLK was just extremely tweaked out homeless people panhandling at the abandoned gas station (which I'm guess is now an upscale salon of some sort - or maybe it's the pizza/beer place of which you speak).

  • Happy Chandler||

    Where are you now?

    The blocks east of the development like to think of themselves as lower Elmwood.

  • ||

    Where are you now?

    Right now I'm in Walnut Creek ; ).

    But the missus and the kid and I all moved out to El Sobrante 10 years ago. We were in a fourplex at 42nd & Broadway for a long, long time before that, right next to Oakland Tech. Seen more than one football riot in my time . . . But at that time, we were getting tired of stepping over homeless people to go out, and I more than once had to clean literal human feces from my backyard, so we decided to give Oakland a break for awhile.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Walnut Creek is kind of a hotter Berkeley with lots of condos. I'm always surprised at how many Berkeley spots have outposts there. My wife has taken the kid to Heather Farms a couple times and he loves it.

    I previously lived at 29th/Fairmount, and my wife was just off of Piedmont Ave. If I had to leave Berkeley, I'd want to live in Alameda.

  • ||

    I previously lived at 29th/Fairmount

    That's funny - I lived at Croxton/Piedmont '93-'95. Practically neighbors.

    If I had to leave Berkeley, I'd want to live in Alameda.

    Alameda's nice, but I dislike the island thing. I'm quite happy in El Sob, with the exception of how badly San Pablo Dam Road backs up between here and Orinda when school's in session.

  • Jimbo||

    Well of course there was more crime back then! As the white population has been reduced, so has the crime. Duh.

  • colorblindkid||

    I live right outside New York City in Jersey, and they're building massive new buildings everywhere. My rent hasn't gone up in 3 years. These facts are related.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Berkeley growth is limited by water to the West, another city to the North, hills to the East, and another city to the South.

    Berkeley wanted to stay a tiny college town so it didnt grow. New cities grew up around Berkeley. Berkeley refused to grow upwards, so they have a space problem.

    The current Communists want their property values to remain high by keeping out new housing. They also want to keep Berkeley hippie.

    It will blow up in their faces.

  • ||

    ^ This. I know I don't say this to you often, but everything you say here is 100% correct.

  • Happy Chandler||

    This is true in every city in the Bay Area. You can build condos in Emeryville, but that's about it until you get to Pittsburg/Antioch. The decisions are dominated by the interests that have been here for ages, and the interests of the people who would like to move here but can't are shut out. We have to wait for the old hippies to die.

    This is also exacerbated by Prop 13, which means the old residents pay tiny property taxes and are incentivized to stay in their homes versus downsizing, which would mean their tax rates may go up. So, we have a bunch of old hippies hanging on to their homes and workers commuting from east Contra Costa.

  • ||

    This is also exacerbated by Prop 13

    And this is where I disagree. Property values already have to be high before Prop 13 becomes an incentive to not sell. In fact, the whole point of Prop 13 was that old people who owned their homes outright wouldn't be forced out of them by the fact that, for example, the house my grandfather bought in Long Beach on a GI bill for $4,000 in 1954 is now worth close to $1M.

    IOW, property values were already through the roof when Prop 13 was passed - that was the reason for Prop 13, not the other way around.

  • Happy Chandler||

    Define through the roof. Include the effects of inflation.

    My landlord's house (which includes my unit) is assessed at ~187k. It's worth almost 1.5M.

    If he moved, his tax rate would go up based on the price of the new home, even if it was worth less than his current home. So, he'd pay more to downsize.

    Prop 13 was written with good intentions, but it has also locked people into their homes.

  • ||

    Define through the roof.
    My landlord's house (which includes my unit) is assessed at ~187k. It's worth almost 1.5M.

    You answered your own question.

    Your landlord's house is assessed at $187k because that's where it is now based on the formula applied to the cost of the house when he purchased it. It is now literally worth an order of magnitude more than that.

    All of my grandparents bought their houses in Southern California in the 50s for four digits. By the time Prop 13 was passed in 1978, those houses were worth about 30 times that much, and they didn't make enough money to be able to afford the property taxes, which were rising to the point of being 50% or more of the purchase price of the house annually.

    Prop 13 didn't "lock people into their homes" - it allowed people to stay in their homes.

    To look at it from another angle: Prop 13 doesn't "trap" you in your home unless market values are considerably higher than what you paid. Ergo, Prop 13 is not what causes property values to rise - it's what keeps people in their houses once property values have risen.

  • Happy Chandler||

    That's a chicken/egg problem.

    The people hanging on to their home and their self-interest in preventing new building means that people who buy homes now pay the brunt of the taxes. That increases the costs for new purchasers. The existing homeowners get the same service benefits, but they pay a tenth the taxes. They have tax incentives to stay in their home. Millionaires also get the same benefits. So do rent-controlled tenants who are paying 1992 rents and making 2018 salaries. There are people making six figures paying less than $1000 rent. But, if they move, they give up their rent control and would have to pay triple that.

    Property taxes is the wrong way to fund services. Rent control isn't working. But, most of all, we need to build more housing, market rate, BMR, whatever.

  • ||

    Property taxes is the wrong way to fund services. Rent control isn't working. But, most of all, we need to build more housing, market rate, BMR, whatever.

    On that we 100% agree.

  • Agammamon||

    You're assuming that because the city has increased in size that all the existing residents 'benefit' from that.

    They don't. In my town, literally, half of it could disappear tomorrow and it wouldn't affect me. I have no reason to go to that half. To justify paying taxes for police service there, for fire service there, for roads there, for water hookups there - would be justification for me paying for all those things in (potentially) every city in the world.

  • Longtobefree||

    A chicken it an eggs way of making more eggs

  • Agammamon||

    If you move, you take the same tax hit, with or without Prop 13

    If you stay, without Prop 13 you get a constantly increasing tax bill (even if your consumption of city 'services' never changes - you're funding other people's infrastructure) while with it you don't take that hit.

    It didn't lock anyone into their homes. It just removed the forced incentive to move.

  • ||

    It didn't lock anyone into their homes. It just removed the forced incentive to move.

    And this is where I still have to come down in the end - yes it places a greater tax burden on more recent buyers, but the buyers know and accept those costs going in, whereas you have no control over what markets might do to your property taxes. It's not necessarily 100% fair, but one way has a direct victim, the other doesn't.

  • Just Say'n||

    You aren't familiar with how Prop 13 works, it would appear

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chanandler is not familiar with many things.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Mononica love him anyway. Frienends me favorite sitcom.

  • Jimbo||

    You'd think having the Berkeley campus in their city, with all of those Nobel prize winners, would mean they could overcome their space problem.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Oh, for fucks sake. Would some god please induce a nice long earthquake under Berkeley, so all the communtards would facing rebuilding?

    By cosmic coincidence I read a piece this morning about Berkeley on the New Republic site. Nazaryan hits some of the same points about housing and NIMBYS.

  • ||

    Berkeley is such that the rest of the Bay Area can indulge its own craziness because no matter what tomfoolery we engage in, we can always look at Berkeley and shake our heads.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    So the Open Borders/Abolish ICE-types of Berkeley don't like the idea of newcomers moving in and ruining their nice town?

  • Hunthjof||

    That little irony not lost on you either huh?

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    "Yes, 40 percent of midwestern college graduates want to move to California. But we are not obligated to sacrifice what is best about Berkeley to build dorm rooms for them."

    Replace midwestern graduates with Central America residents and California with America. These idiots basically just gave the right wing argument against multiculturalism and immigration.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I guess they want to build some sort of wall.

  • Pudgeboy||

    A wall of feces

  • juris imprudent||

    Smug. Nothing but impenetrable smug.

  • ||

    Smug. Nothing but impenetrable smug.

    You may be joking, but this actually does work.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Berkeley has their own version of border patrol-

    Communists who want local government Socialists to prevent new residents.

  • No Longer Amused||

    Translation: You have not provided us with sufficient bribes to approve your building.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its more than that. These white and asian people had the nerve to say this "Reminds Us of Native American Genocide" and not a single Native Americans among them.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    The only thing it's acceptable to appropriate is outrage.

  • Rock Lobster||

    Right!

    Get Elizabeth Warren an honorary Berkeley citizenship, STAT!

  • RoyMo||

    The American Indians all live in Oakland, they have never been able to afford Berkeley.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    These current residents overpaid for their property and want to make sure they get a higher return.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Far from jumping at the opportunity to approve new housing in their high-priced community, members of the zoning board reacted to Gruendl's presentation as though he had proposed a zombie apocalypse.

    I think we're far past the proposal phase on that.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Stability breeds fragility.

    Or...

    Strong men make good times. Good times make weak men. Weak men make bad times. Bad times make strong men.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    ...strong men make dinosaurs.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    I just want to know how. Dinosaur cavalry sounds cool AF.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Well, sometimes, when a blood specimen harvesting needle owned by a sinister multi-national conglomerate and a 66-million-year-old mosquito mummified in amber really love each other...

  • Trollificus||

    Ah, the pterodactyls and the bees...

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    *Aviform theropods

  • damikesc||

    "Berkeley needs to prioritize a livable, sustainable environment for people who already live here," said Todd Darling, who owns a property next to the proposed development. "Yes, 40 percent of midwestern college graduates want to move to California. But we are not obligated to sacrifice what is best about Berkeley to build dorm rooms for them."

    Claim it is for illegals, maybe?

    This shows the difference between an environmentalist and a developer. A developer wants a home in a forest. An environmentalist already has a home in the forest.

  • Hunthjof||

    I am totally stealing that.

  • damikesc||

    I wonder how they'd rebuild if a huge fire occurred. Zoning rules and price of housing would make rebuilding nightmarish, I'd imagine.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    concerns about that building's size, dormitory-like interior design, and lack of below-market units persuaded the zoning board to vote against the project, 7–2

    They'll turn it every way but laissez.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Anyway, Whitey has exploited the natives by blocking out the sun for the last time.

  • creech||

    Most zoning adequately describes what is allowed to be built, if anything. A developer who follows those zoning rules can, "by right", build what the zoning permits. Most developers seek variances (to build more units, or change set backs, etc.) and that's where the Planning nazis, busybodies, etc. have leave to delay the project. I've even seen "by right" projects defeated because the community drags in bogus safety or traffic concerns (even much carefully spelled out zoning is always subject to such vague rules). By the time a developer wins the right to build something, and has payed for countless engineering, traffic and environmental studies,plus his lawyer and the municipality's lawyer, the cost of the development has soared before the first shovel is turned.

  • Happy Chandler||

    The Berkeley zoning board has a history of denying projects that have by right approval, even after being told that they have no legal authority to block them. This is my biggest issue with Berkeley, especially as a renter with no rent control protection.

  • ||

    This is my biggest issue with Berkeley, especially as a renter with no rent control protection.

    When did Berkeley get rid of rent control?

  • Happy Chandler||

    I live in a "Golden Duplex". It's exempt from rent control.

  • ||

    Ah, Berkeley - rent control is the right way to do things except when it isn't!

  • Agammamon||

    How is the one related to the other?

  • Rock Lobster||

    Subsidize the status quo!

    FOR THE PEOPLE LANDLORD!

    Sen. Kamala Harris

  • ||

    "You all seen the movie Rear Window? This is an insane invasion of privacy for the folks who live next door. This is not how we do things in Berkeley."

    "In Berkeley, we prefer our wives murdered and our neighbors blissfully ignorant." /WTHF?

  • ||

    We really are a post-parody society.

  • ||

    What you don't know won't hurt you, right?

  • ||

    It's like having a VHS of Gaslight with 'Rear Window' scrawled on it and a copy of Rear Window with 'Gaslight' scrawled on it.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Kind of brilliant. Can you write some articles and demote one of the writers to the comments section? Perhaps Shikha. Her name reminds me of Shakira. Good lord I still can't quite believe she's dead.

  • RoyMo||

    Also we approve of dog murder and assaults on the disabled.

  • John I||

    "Darling preemptively dismissed arguments that building more housing would make housing more affordable, saying that the "Pilgrims used the same arguments against the natives in Massachusetts." And we all know how that story ended!"

    The worst thing white settlers in America ever did was try to build affordable housing. It is known

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Aren't you forgetting the straws. The STRAWS, man!

  • John I||

    ""You all seen the movie Rear Window?"

    The movie where a nosy neighbor caught a murderer and stopped him from getting away with brutally killing his wife? Strong argument in favor of big housing complexes tbh

    Jesus Christ, progressives are such insane reactionaries when it comes to housing

  • ||

    Careful now, you're treading dangerously close to the libertarian sacred cows. You keep talking and soon people are going to figure out that the Constitution doesn't actually contain a right to information privacy and, even if it did, it would only pertain to the government procurement of said information and not what any 3rd parties may or may not choose to do with it.

    Next thing you know, you'll might suggest that that there could be some sense in women not being allowed to abort without the consent of the father or a male relative. Thereby invoke machinations of A Handmaid's Tale (another piece of fiction that everybody's scene, few have read, and even fewer have thought about critically).

  • A Thinking Mind||

    The Constitution is the basis of government, not a legal code. The Constitution doesn't guarantee that my property can't be seized by third parties, but that doesn't mean I lack legal recourse to get my valuables back if someone breaks into my house and steals them.

  • RoyMo||

    Their was also a murdered dog, this is Berkeley after all.

  • Calidissident||

    The line about the Pilgrims might be the stupidest thing I've ever read. I literally can't comprehend how that argument was even formed in a sentient being's head.

  • creech||

    Too bad we don't have enough libertarians to show up at these kind of hearings, and poke fun like this (and John's above about Rear Window") at the doofus' who raise ridiculous objections.

  • ||

    Oh, we have libertarians in the Bay Area. We're just smart enough not to go to a Berkeley City Council meeting and tell people their concerns about Native American genocide are ridiculous.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, it would be amusing if you got away with your life.

  • Happy Chandler||

    I wouldn't recommend Berkeley City Council to anyone. Way too many scent free people in one location.

  • Juice||

    Dude. Clue in. To get a building built there, you say that it is a protest against Native American genocide and an abstract artistic statement about Trump supporters inability to see the light.

  • perlchpr||

    "Berkeley needs to prioritize a livable, sustainable environment for people who already live here," said Todd Darling, who owns a property next to the proposed development.

    So, he's concerned about the effects of immigration on his community?

    I'm entirely certain that I have been told that that is very, very racist.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    And he is REALLY concerned about the effects of immigration on the empty lot next to his place.

  • Robert||

    Come on, there must've been something left out of the quote about Pilgrims. It's just too far fetched a cx, there must've been some other material linking them. I just can't think of what that might've been.

  • Bob Armstrong||

    So how many floors are they talking about . I felt that's a crucial bit of info left out of the article .
    Certainly the nbd looks mixed use .

  • josh||

    "Berkleyeans depend on the afternoon sun. It's what we live for."

    I like to read this as meaning that if you blocked the sun, they would all die.

  • Mark22||

    That gives me an idea...

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Laughed loudly on the toilet.

    "Oh don't worry, that's just [Deconstructed Potato]. He always sits there laughing to himself while pooping. You'll meet him later when we head upstairs. At least he's stopped using the ladies bathroom."

  • RoyMo||

    So you are saying Seattle has some tiny fragment of hope?

  • Longtobefree||

    So I guess the free medical care for all in Berkeley does not cover skin cancer?

  • Mark22||

    Reminds Us of Native American Genocide

    There was a Native American Genocide? When did that happen?

  • Longtobefree||

    A while back. That is why there are no native Americans left.
    It was the inevitable result of cultural appropriation. The White (and Hispanic, remember Florida), invaders treated those who were on the continent at the time in exactly the same way that those who were on the continent at the time treated anyone who got in their way; they killed them all and counted the bodies.

  • Miter Broller||

    How did the Pilgrim story end?

  • Longtobefree||

    They came, they saw, they conquered.
    Then they enslaved all the women and made them wear funny hats.
    Or something

  • General_Tso||

    With delicious turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce. Real cranberry sauce, not that canned gelatinous crap.

  • ColoradoKook||

    I, for one, thought it was a nice touch when the developers including small pox blankets in every unit.

  • Longtobefree||

    "very-low-income renters (defined as individuals making $40,700 or less)"

    According to the latest government data (2005!?), the median HOUSEHOLD income in the US was $46,326.
    So I guess Bernie is right, we really,really, need socialism, because every family is only six grand above "very-low-income" for an INDIVIDUAL.

    (It may be worse, I am assuming that the $40,700 figure is annual income.)

  • Heraclitus||

    Would Reason have run this story if they didn't have the sun and pilgrim quotes? This is an interesting and important story but it is sad that Reason chose to frame it in the context of two out-of-context quotes. I believe this is what Trump's supporters are lashing out against.

    At any rate, this is problematic. Unlike other people on this post I won't assume all of the people rejecting this proposal are Liberals. Remember the old canard, you are Liberal when you are young and then you get wealth and turn to the right. And even in Berkeley some people vote Republican. But yeah, there is some major hypocrisy here. This tends to happen with people of all political persuasions when they buy a piece of land. The NIMBY phenomenon is a problem for game theory and prisoner dilemmas. Making it out to be a way to stick it to the Liberals is childish.

  • Trollificus||

    Blocking construction of adequate housing for the less fortunate is a universal aspect of "progressive" governance. I don't give a shit what you label people, it's the same folks decrying barriers to immigration, and insisting something be done about homelessness who take the actions that raise housing costs to multiples of the costs elsewhere, and multiples of where they would be with a local government that would actually take steps to deal with the problem.

    Yeah, it's fucking progressives behind the problem. If they are greedy hypocritical asshole progressives, that doesn't make them Republicans.

  • Echospinner||

    Yup it is not a left right thing.

    I live in an HOA within a suburban city. Some of the most NIMBY people here are hard rock conservatives others are very much liberals. When it comes to NIMBY issues they are on the same page.

    Mention the word "rental" in any proposed development and they are united against it. The city has the highest rated school system in the area, if you really looked at why they are so against it you can imagine. They don't want them people from the central city moving in to give their children the opportunity to attend the schools.

  • UncleSam13||

    Things native born Californians are proud of: the desire never to leave the state, traffic, horrendous housing costs, and long section 8 wait times.

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