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Department of Planning & Development
Department of Planning & Development


P    P    P

The community services described in this section include: police services; fire protection and emergency medical services; schools; libraries; solid waste management; and health and human services. Setting information provided in Section 1 has been focused so that it directly relates to community services impacts and mitigations outlined in Section 2, based on criteria of significance set forth in Section 2a.


1. Setting


a. Police. The Berkeley Police Department (BPD) provides services intended to protect life and property, prevent crime, arrest criminal offenders, and improve the quality of life in the City of Berkeley. The Department consists of three divisions: Patrol, Support and Administrative. The Patrol Division, the largest, responds to calls for police services, provides animal control, conducts drug enforcement activities, and maintains the Foot Patrol Detail and Bicycle Unit. Traditional public safety methods, such as patrolling in automobiles and investigating crimes, are augmented by outreach programs in which the officers become involved with neighborhood organizations, addressing problems such as drug-trafficking. The Traffic and Parking Bureau is within the Administrative Division. The Detective Bureau is within the Support Division, which also provides other general administrative support functions.


In 1998, the BPD consisted of 201 authorized officers and 119 additional staff members for a total of 320 staff. This allowed for a ratio of 1.85 authorized officers for each 1,000 residents. The City's goal for BPD staffing is reviewed each budget cycle. This review includes consideration of historical and current year reported crime rates. City population increases are not weighed in the BPD's evaluation of staffing needs.


  • Standard response time for priority one calls (i.e., life threatening situations) is 5 minutes from time of dispatch. The BPD maintained the following average response times in 1999:
  • Priority one calls (life threatening): Immediate (average 5 minutes)
  • Priority two calls (urgent, non-life-threatening): Within 20 minutes
  • Priority three calls (non-urgent and/or property crimes): Within 60 minutes


The majority of officer time is spent responding to calls, investigating crimes, and apprehending suspects. As shown in Table IV.C-1, in 1998 there were 10,485 major offenses recorded in Berkeley. Calendar year 1998 saw a 5.5 percent reduction in major crimes in Berkeley over the previous year. Although the City saw an increase in crime within 10 years of adoption of the 1977 Master Plan, total number of reported crimes then decreased in the following 10 years between 1987 and 1998, resulting in an overall decrease in crime since 1977. Reported crimes since 1997 have decreased significantly in some categories (homicide/manslaughter, rape, robbery, burglary) but increased in others (aggravated assault, theft, auto theft, arson).


b. Fire and Emergency Medical Services. The Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) provides fire and emergency services to residents of the City of Berkeley including fire fighting and rescue, fire prevention and training, and emergency medical services.


(1) Fire Fighting and Rescue. The BFD provides emergency response services for immediate life-threatening situations including fire suppression, hazardous materials control and rescue in Berkeley. In 1999, the BFD responded to 4,145 calls not related to Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The standard response time goal for priority one non-EMS, as well as EMS calls is 4 minutes. Average response time for priority one non-EMS calls is 4 minutes.


Table IV.C-1 


















Aggravated Assault












Auto Theft












Source: Berkeley Police Department, 1992; Berkeley, City of, 1999. BPD web site <>.


The BFD has seven fire stations, each with an engine company consisting of three fire fighters and a fire engine. In addition, Stations 2 and 5, the downtown fire stations, both have staffed aerial ladder trucks. In 1999, the Fire Department had 124 full-time professional fire fighters (and an additional 11 staff members), 33 of

whom are certified as paramedics. The Department's staffing standards include seven engines with three persons each, two trucks with three persons each, three ambulances with two paramedics each, and one assistant fire chief on duty 24 hours a day. The City's goal for BFD staffing is reviewed each budget cycle. This review includes consideration of historical and current year information related to fire and emergency services. City population increases are not weighed in the BFD's evaluation of staffing needs.


The following is a list of locations for the seven fire stations in the City. Their locations are shown in Figure IV.C-1.

Station 1 B 2442 8th Street

Station 2 B 2029 Berkeley Way

Station 3 B 2710 Russell

Station 4 B 1900 Marin Avenue

Figure IV.C-1: Location of Fire Stations 82 x 11

Station 5 B 2680 Shattuck

Station 6 B 999 Cedar Street

Station 7 B 2931 Shasta Road


The seismic retrofit and upgrades of six fire stations under Measure G was completed in 1999. Discussions of plans to replace Station 7 with a new station at a new location are ongoing; no final decision on a site for a new station has been made as of the publish date of this Draft EIR.


(2) Fire Prevention. In October 1991, a 7-year drought and other extreme conditions contributed to a firestorm in the Berkeley and Oakland hills which destroyed 62 homes in Berkeley and over 3,000 homes in Oakland. The firestorm raised the community's consciousness for the need for greater suppression and prevention programs in the hills as well as throughout the City. The City has responded with prevention planning, public education, and improved training and equipment.


Fire prevention programs operated by the BFD include high fire danger patrols, fire fuel/vegetation management (done through the City's Public Works Department) and inspection of parcels. The Vegetation Management Program, which began in Spring 1993, demonstrates landscaping techniques to property owners for maintaining the appropriate levels of vegetation, shrubbery, and brush near residential structures. The Vegetation Management Program also includes a free chipper and debris box program each summer. In 1999, the BFD eliminated the hazardous fire inspection district and instituted a hazardous fire area in the Berkeley Hills area that included much of the previous hazardous fire inspection district. The BFD also manages training programs for its staff and teaches the Citizens Emergency Response Training (CERT) classes.


In 1992, the City of Berkeley adopted a City-wide emergency plan known as the Multi Hazard Functional Plan for emergency operations. Coordinated by the City's Office of Emergency Services, the Plan identifies specific responsibilities for each City government department in preparing for and responding to possible emergencies. Hazardous materials response programs are outlined in more detail in Section IV.N, Hazardous Materials, in this chapter of this document.

The City has joined a Vegetation Management Consortium with the cities of Oakland and Piedmont, the University, the East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD), the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), and the East Bay Conservation Corps. The consortium has developed a draft comprehensive management program and plan to ensure uniform vegetation management and erosion control throughout the lands under each participating member's jurisdiction.


To further ensure adequate fire fighting support, the City has negotiated Mutual Response Area (MRA) agreements with surrounding jurisdictions to enhance the existing Mutual Aid Plans. In addition, the City has negotiated an automatic aid agreement with Lawrence Berkeley Labs.


(3) Emergency Medical Service (EMS). EMS involves life support ambulance service by paramedics who are members of the Fire Department staff. Medical emergencies made up 62 percent of the Fire Department responses in 1999 (6,730 calls). The three EMS ambulances are City-owned, and staffed with two Fire Department staff paramedics per ambulance. If all three ambulances are busy, the City of Albany or the City of Piedmont is called to assist, an event which occurs approximately once monthly. Because the Department has fewer ambulances than fire engines, the standard response time for EMS calls is 9 minutes, compared with 4 minutes standard response time for non-EMS calls. Each of the two downtown fire stations, Stations 2 and 5, has an ambulance company. A third ambulance unit is at Station 1 on 8th Street.


c. Schools. Schools in the City of Berkeley include both the public schools of the Berkeley Unified School District and the University of California, as well as a large number of private schools. Each is addressed below.


(1) Public Schools.


(a) Berkeley Unified School District. The Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) serves the entire City of Berkeley. The district operates 35 schools, the locations of which are shown in Figure IV.C-2.

  • 17 early childhood education locations
  • 12 elementary schools (grades K-5)
  • 3 middle schools (grades 6-8)

Figure IV.C-2: Locations of Schools in the Berkeley USD 82 x 11

  • 1 high school (grades 9-12)
  • 1 adult school


Enrollment for all schools in the BUSD is shown in Table IV.C-2. Total enrollment for the 2000-2001 school year was 9,495 students, including 4,103 elementary school students, and 5,392 secondary school students. Current enrollment breakdowns for these schools are also shown in Table IV.C-2.


The passage of the $158 Million Measure A school bond in 1992 provided much of the necessary resources and deferred maintenance of school facilities for a 10-year period. Most Measure A improvements have been completed or are currently

underway. Other funding sources for the school construction and renovation projects are provided by the State School Building Program, Berkeley Schools Enrichment Project (BSEP, discussed below), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). BUSD school improvements include modernization (including seismic upgrading); maintenance of school facilities; and closing and redeveloping facilities (asset management).

In 1986, Berkeley passed a parcel tax to fund the BSEP, which in part helped ensure smaller class sizes, from kindergarten through 12th grade. This class-size reduction measure helped achieve student-to-teacher ratios of 25 to 1 for kindergarten through 3rd grade, and 27 to 1 for middle and high school grades. Funding through the BSEP also helped provide supplementary educational materials, facilities and grounds improvements, and enrichment funding given to each school. The BSEP was renewed in 1994.

In 1998, the state passed SB50 which called for provision of development impact fees for schools from developers. State and local matching requirements of SB50 also provides for a statewide-average, per-pupil new construction grant program. With additional state funding provided by these measures, Berkeley further reduced class sizes to allow for a 20-to-1 student-to-teacher ration for kindergarten through 3rd grades. As of the publish date of this Draft EIR, the BUSD does not independently collect development impact fees.

Table IV.C-2 


ENROLLMENT, 2000-2001a

Schools - Elementary







Arts Magnet (at Whittier School)




City of Franklin Microsociety Magnet School




Columbus Environmental Science Magnet




Cragmont (at Franklin)












John Muir








Malcolm X Arts and Academics Magnet








Thousand Oaks








Total Elementary




Schools - Secondary







Longfellow Arts and Tech Magnet Middle School




Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School




Willard Middle School




Berkeley High




Other Programs




Total Secondary




Grand Total




a Enrollment figures from February 25, 2000.

b H/H = Home/hospital instruction.

Source: BUSD, 2000.

(b) University of California. The University occupies a 1,250-acre central campus in the east central portion of the City. The University is the largest landowner and employer in the City, and is a world-renowned center of education, research, and culture. Total campus population for the academic year 1999/2000 was 43,390, including faculty, staff and students. Some local controversy exists related to the University's tax-exempt status and immunity from local planning and zoning controls. (Current City land use planning policies pertinent to the University are discussed in Section IV.A, Land Use in this chapter of this EIR.) In 1999, the City and the University initiated the Southside Area Plan to facilitate the achievement of consensus between the City, the community and the University regarding development issues south of campus. As of the publish date of this Draft EIR, the draft Southside Area Plan is under consideration by the Planning Commission.


Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) is a national laboratory, with a staff of over 3,800 scientists, engineers and support personnel located on a hillside campus east of the Central University. This internationally renowned research facility is leased to and largely funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Other holdings of the University within the City of Berkeley include the 47-acre Clark Kerr Campus on Dwight Way and Warring Street, south of the central campus; approximately 29 acres of miscellaneous properties (including substantial dormitory housing units) on the Southside; 11 acres at Fourth and Harrison Streets in west Berkeley/Albany; a 7-acre site at Eighth and Harrison in west Berkeley; facilities at 6701 San Pablo Avenue, 800-806 Hearst Avenue, and 2000 Carleton Street; and the 86-acre Albany Village-Gill Tract (partly within the City of Albany).


(2) Private Schools. The City of Berkeley is home to a considerable number of private schools. Private elementary schools in the City of Berkeley include the following:

  • The Academy
  • Berkeley Montessori
  • Berkwood Hedge
  • Black Pine Circle
  • Crowden School
  • East Bay French-American School
  • Montessori Family Schools
  • Live Oak Montessori
  • St. Joseph the Worker
  • School of the Madeleine
  • Walden Center

Private secondary schools in the City of Berkeley include the following:

  • Arrowsmith
  • East Bay Junior Preparatory
  • East Bay School of the Arts Middle School
  • Ecole Bilingue
  • The Elmwood School
  • Maybeck High
  • New Age Academy
  • St. Mary's College High School

Private colleges and universities in the City of Berkeley include the following:

  • American Baptist Seminary of the West
  • Armstrong University
  • Bay Cities Bible Institute
  • California Christian University
  • The California D Foundation
  • Center for Psychological Studies
  • Christian Witness Theological Seminary
  • Church Divinity School of the Pacific
  • Deep Springs College
  • Franciscan School of Theology
  • Graduate Theological Union
  • Franciscan Community
  • Heriot-Watt External MBA
  • Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley
  • Liturgy in Santa Fe at Berkeley
  • New College for Advanced Christian Studies
  • Pacific and Asian American Center for Theology and Strategies
  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
  • Pacific School of Religion
  • Starr King School for the Ministry
  • Western Institute for Social Research

Private special education schools in the City of Berkeley include the following:

  • Center for the Education of the Infant Deaf
  • VIA Center


d. Library Services. The Berkeley Public Library has been providing public library services to the Berkeley community since 1893. The library operates a Central Library, four Branch Libraries, and a Tool Lending Library. The Central Library is open seven days a week and four nights a week, for a total of 64 hours each week. The branch libraries are open six days a week and four nights a week, for a total of 60 hours per week. Library services serve all segments of Berkeley's population and include story times for infants and toddlers, delivery of books to the homebound, Internet access, loan of small tools, and responses to requests for information. The library is a city service that is administered by the Board of Library Trustees, who are appointed to 4-year terms by the full City Council. According to the City Charter, one member of the City Council serves as a Library Trustee.


The Berkeley Public Library loans approximately 1.5 million items per year, which is an average of 15 items per person per year. About 60 percent of Berkeley residents hold active library cards, as compared to the national average of approximately 30 percent. The Library responds to over half a million questions per year, which is an average of more than five questions per person, per year. The library has six sites from which library services are delivered, well located throughout the City and accessible via public transportation. Library locations and characteristics are outlined in Table IV.C-3. Prior to 1996, none of the library buildings, with the exception of the Tool Lending Library, had been remodeled or improved significantly since 1976, and were all in need of renovation or upgrades to permit use of new technologies. In 1999, minor accessibility projects, including the installation of an adaptive Internet workstation at the South Branch Library completed at the branch libraries to make more areas accessible.


In 1996, the citizens of Berkeley approved a $49 million bond measure (Measure S) that provided $30 million of funding for the seismic retrofit, expansion and renovations (including disabled access improvements) for the Central Library (with the remaining $19 million to fund seismic upgrades to the Civic Center Building and Downtown Improvements). A parcel adjacent to the southern boundary of the existing parking lot was purchased to provide for the expansion of the library. The expanded space is to be used to improve services to the public and to house collections. The expanded library will function as one building, although it will be constructed as two separate but connected structures. No increase in employees will occur. The renovation, seismic retrofitting and expansion at the Central Library is expected to be completed in 2001. The library is planning improvements to the Branch Libraries should funding become available.

Table IV.C-3 








Central Library

2090 Kittredge Street


Yes (NRHP)a

Claremont Branch

2940 Benvenue Avenue



North Branch

1170 The Alameda



South Branch

1901 Russell Street



Tool Lending Library

1901 Russell Street



West Branch

1125 University Avenue



a National Register of Historic Places.

b Building constructed more than 40 years ago.

c Designated City landmark.

Source: Berkeley Public Library, 1999.



The Berkeley Public Library installed a computerized catalog and circulation system during the 1990s which placed computer terminals throughout the City's libraries. Funds from the California State Library enabled the Library to also install publicly accessible Internet workstations at each library.


e. Solid Waste Management. Solid waste management is described below in terms of refuse collection and recycling, and the regulations and programs that support recycling and waste stream diversion.


(1) Refuse Collection. In calendar year 1999, the City of Berkeley produced approximately 90,000 tons of solid waste, which averages 11 pounds of refuse per household per day. Approximately 88,000 tons of solid waste from Berkeley per year is hauled to the City-operated transfer station, 80 percent of which is delivered by the Solid Waste Management Division of the Department of Public Works. The remainder is brought to the transfer station by commercial haulers and private citizens. Approximately 99 percent of the refuse delivered to the transfer station is taken to the Vasco Road Landfill, which is located approximately 40 miles from Berkeley. This landfill facility is located on a 650-acre site, 220 acres of which is the facility's permitted footprint. The landfill is located 2 miles north of Interstate 580 at the east end of the Livermore Valley. Approximately 60 percent of the County's waste stream is disposed of at this facility, which as of 1998 had a remaining capacity of 16 million tons. At current disposal rates, landfill personnel roughly estimate this remaining capacity will be exhausted in 2017. The landfill is permitted as a Class III facility, with some capacity for Class II wastes, allowing the disposal of a greater variety of waste materials.


The City's Refuse Fund provides for costs associated with all aspects of solid waste management, including refuse and plant debris collection and disposal, as well as recycling services. An expanded plant debris program is planned to help ensure the City's compliance with mandated waste stream reduction targets of 50 percent by the end of the year 2000.


The Ecology Center, a local non-profit organization, is responsible for operating residential curbside recycling pickup. As of 2000, the Center distributes 12- gallon tote boxes to all single-family homes and apartments in smaller apartment buildings; the City is responsible for recycling pickup at businesses and large apartment buildings, using 64 to 96 gallon carts.


(2) Regulatory Setting.


(a) California Integrated Waste Management Act. The City relies on a broad mix of waste stream diversion programs to meet state mandated diversion goals, stated in the California Integrated Waste Management Act, AB 939, including source reduction, composting, and recycling. This Act required Berkeley and all other municipalities in the State to divert at least 25 percent of their waste streams by 1995 and at least 50 percent by 2000. Waste stream diversion in the City of Berkeley is described below. Source reduction, to which the Act gives the highest priority, is defined as the act of reducing the amount of solid waste generated in the first place. Recycling and composting are given the next highest priority. The Act specifies that all other waste that is not diverted be properly and safely disposed of in a landfill or through incineration.


(b) Source Reduction and Recycling Element. The California Integrated Waste Management Act also mandates that each jurisdiction adopt a Source Reduction and Recycling Element (SRRE) which specifies how the community will meet the 25 percent and 50 percent goals set forth in the Act. Each community is also required to take measures to reduce solid waste generation and to provide for the safe disposal of special and hazardous wastes. Certain special and hazardous wastes are included within the purview of the SRRE, but communities are also required to adopt a separate Household Hazardous Waste Element (HHWE) to address hazardous wastes generated by households. The SRRE and HHWE for Berkeley were adopted in February 1992 and have been implemented since that time.


(c) Alameda County Measure D. Under the California Integrated Waste Management Act, a jurisdiction may count incineration as diversion for the purposes of the 50 percent goal, but only up to 10 percent; the remaining 40 percent of waste would need to be reduced, recycled, or composted. However, under the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Act of 1990 (Measure D), incineration cannot be included in diversion calculations for the 25 percent and 50 percent goals. In addition, the City of Berkeley has a legislative history of opposition to incineration for waste treatment. Measure D also established a $6 per ton surcharge at Alameda County landfills to provide financial support for source reduction, recycling and composting programs.


(3) Waste Stream Diversion. As of 1999, Berkeley was diverting an estimated 41 percent of the waste stream through a variety of programs and activities in both the public and the private sectors, nearing the City and State-mandated goal of 50 percent diversion by the year 2000. Key issues that remain to be resolved include obtaining sufficient physical space and funding for the solid waste management programs and maximizing the use of modern waste material handling and processing technologies.


f. Health and Human Services. The mission of the Health and Human Services (HHS) Department is to protect and improve public health and the quality of life for the individuals and families in the City of Berkeley through innovative policies, effective services and strong community partnerships. The HHS Department is divided into four major divisions: Administrative Services; Mental Health Services; Public Health Services; and Community Services. Public Health Services is further divided into Administrative and Field Services, Vital Statistics, and Environmental Health. The HHS Department provides health, mental health, and community services at over 25 locations in the City. The City of Berkeley is one of only a few cities in California that provides public health and mental health services, which are functions usually performed by counties.

Services provided by the three non-administrative divisions of the HHS Department include the following:

Public Health. Information, referrals, and direct health services that include domestic violence; food safety; vector control; communicable disease control and services, including HIV and AIDS-related services; health services for the elderly; family planning; neo-natal and well-baby health care; immunization; chronic disease control and health promotion; and tobacco education and treatment.

Mental Health. Implementation of Mobile Crisis Teams targeting at-risk individuals; placement of mental health staff in public elementary and junior high schools; implementation of objectives of federal planning grants for high-risk mentally disabled residents; court diversion program; and recommendations for improved services to underserved populations.

Community Services. Provision of parenting and support services to families; job placement; outreach for and administration of resident camp programs; provision of youth and adult special education and language programs; and administration of homeless services, senior and youth programs, programs for the disabled and recreation programs.


g. Draft General Plan Policies. Policies included in the Draft General Plan that pertain to, could affect, or could be affected by the City of Berkeley's current system of community services include:

  • Policy LU-13. Reduce the impacts of City services and facilities on residential areas.
  • Policy LU-15. Ensure that neighborhoods are well served by basic goods, a diverse supply of community care, services and facilities, including park, school, child care, and church facilities; fire, police, and refuse collection services; and by existing neighborhood commercial areas.
  • Policy LU-16. Work with the Unified School District and the University of California to establish a network of community service centers including school sites, neighborhood resource centers, and City facilities that offer community services such as child care, health care, and recreational programs.
  • Policy LU-18. Implement the Downtown Plan and take actions to achieve the three goals of the Plan:

1. Express and enhance Berkeley's unique social and cultural character in the downtown;

2. Create an appealing and safe downtown environment, with a comfortable pedestrian orientation; and

3. Diversify, revitalize and promote the downtown economy.

  • Policy LU-22. Research the impact of adding several thousand residents in a high density Downtown on such issues as housing affordability, transportation, safety, infrastructure, family housing, city services, and other factors important to the quality of life in Berkeley.
  • Policy LU-27. Maintain the Civic Center as a cohesively designed, well-maintained and secure place for community activities, cultural and educational uses, and essential civic functions and facilities.

Promote the Civic Center as a historic resource listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Policy LU-28. Maintain and improve Neighborhood Commercial Areas including Elmwood, Solano, and North Shattuck as, pedestrian-friendly, visually attractive areas of human scale and ensure that Neighborhood Commercial areas fully serve neighborhood needs.
  • Policy LU-31. Implement the University Avenue Strategic Plan and take actions to achieve the six goals of the Plan:

1. Increase public safety for residents, merchants, and customers.

2. Revitalize the University Avenue corridor through appropriate economic development and housing.

3. Protect and improve neighborhood quality of life.

4. Encourage more pedestrian-oriented development and an appropriate mix of uses to improve neighborhood identity.

5. Enhance University Avenue as a gateway to the city, a series of neighborhoods, and the downtown.

6. Coordinate and enhance public transit systems, pedestrian access, and bicycle circulation.

(See Appendix A for a listing of University Avenue Plan goals and policies.)

  • Policy LU-35. Develop and foster close working relationships with the University of California Berkeley to ensure and facilitate land use decisions that are mutually beneficial to both the institution and the adjoining neighborhoods.
  • Policy LU-37. Reduce the housing impacts of the University on the citywide supply of housing.
  • Policy LU-38. Oppose non-residential University development or property acquisition that will remove additional property from the tax rolls.
  • Policy LU-40. Continue to support maximum opportunities for citizen use of libraries and recreational facilities, the maintenance of the hill lands as open space and the adoption of campus development standards and policies to conserve and enhance present open space resources.
  • Policy LU-41. Ensure that all land use plans, development and expansion by public agencies are consistent with City laws, the City's General Plan and Zoning Ordinance, and the California Environmental Quality Act.
  • Policy T-16: Access by Proximity. Improve access by increasing proximity of residents to services, goods, and employment centers.
  • Policy T-29: Emergency Access. Provide for adequate emergency access to all parts of the City and safe evacuation routes.
  • Policy H-25: Supportive Services. Encourage and coordinate the provision of affordable housing with supportive services.
  • Policy H-26: Coordinated Programs. Coordinate special needs housing programs with job training and employment programs for low income and unemployed Berkeley residents.
  • Policy H-29: Emergency Shelter. To the extent feasible, provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing to homeless individuals and families and coordinate provision of additional housing with supportive services for people with special needs.
  • Policy H-31: University of California. Urge the University of California to provide housing for at least 25% of its students at affordable prices and expand housing opportunities for students and staff.
  • Policy H-45: Interjurisdictional Approaches. Develop and coordinate multi-agency, regional, and cross-jurisdictional approaches to reducing homelessness, including both the homeless continuum of care and assertive community treatment models now in place in Alameda County and Berkeley.
  • Policy S-4: Special Needs Communities. Continue to work with the social service community to ensure the safety of special needs populations.
  • Policy S-12: Utility and Transportation Systems. Improve the disaster-resistance of utility and transportation systems to increase public safety and to minimize damage and service disruption following a disaster.
  • Policy S-21: Fire Preventive Design Standards. Develop and enforce construction and design standards that ensure that new structures incorporate appropriate fire prevention features and meet current fire safety standards.
  • Policy S-22: Built Environment Risk Reduction. Reduce fire hazard risks in existing developed areas.
  • Policy S-24: Property Maintenance. Reduce fire hazard risks in existing developed areas by ensuring that private property is maintained to minimize vulnerability to fire hazards
  • Policy S-25: Mutual Aid. Continue to fulfill legal obligations and support mutual aid efforts to coordinate fire suppression within Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, Oakland, the East Bay Regional Park District and the State of California to prevent and suppress major wild land and urban fire destruction.
  • Policy S-26: Fire Safety Education. Use Fire Department personnel to plan and conduct effective fire safety and prevention programs.
  • Policy EM-5: Reduce Wastes. Continue to reduce solid and hazardous wastes generated within the city.
  • Policy EM-6: Building Reuse and Construction Waste. Encourage rehabilitation and reuse of buildings whenever appropriate and feasible in order to reduce waste, conserve resources and energy, and reduce construction costs.
  • Policy EM-7: Recycling and Waste Transfer Stations. Ensure convenient access for Berkeley citizens to transfer stations, recycling, composting, and collection of household hazardous waste products.
  • Policy EM-8: Materials Recovery and Re-manufacturing. Support and encourage serial materials recovery and re-manufacturing industries.
  • Policy EM-9: Biodegradable Materials and Green Chemistry. Support efforts to phase out the use of long-lived synthetic compounds and certain naturally occurring substances which do not biodegrade and long lived synthetic compounds, such as pesticides and vehicle anti-freeze. Encourage efforts to change manufacturing processes to use biodegradable materials, recycle, reuse by-products and Agreen@ chemistry and products.
  • Policy EM-12: Hazardous Material Regulation. Control and regulate the use, storage and transportation of toxic, explosive, and other hazardous and extremely hazardous material to prevent unauthorized and accidental discharges.


A. Regularly inspect businesses using, storing, transporting, or generating hazardous materials or wastes to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

B. Require facility operators to write and implement contingency plans in preparation for emergency situations and accidental releases. Additionally, require facilities to train their employees on how to activate the contingency plans.

  • Policy EM-13: Environmental Investigation. When reviewing applications for new development in areas historically used for industrial uses, require environmental investigation as necessary to ensure that soils, groundwater, and buildings affected by hazardous material releases from prior land uses would not have the potential to affect the environment or the health and safety of future property owners or users.


2a Impacts and Mitigation Measures


a. Criteria of Significance. The Draft General Plan would significantly impact community services if it would:

  • Result in an increased demand for police, fire, solid waste, and health and support services exceeding existing or planned staffing levels;
  • Result in response times to calls for fire and police services beyond established levels;
  • Result in a demand for school services beyond the existing or planned capacity of the Berkeley Unified School District;
  • Result in a demand for library services beyond the existing or planned capacity of the Berkeley Public Library system;
  • Result in a substantial decrease in remaining available space at a landfill;
  • Interfere with the accomplishment of waste diversion goals mandated by the California Integrated Waste Management Act; or
  • Adversely affect human health or safety by reducing availability of public health and support services.


b. Community Services Impacts and Mitigation Measures. Less-than-significant community services impacts are discussed first in this section, followed by significant impacts. The impact analysis in this section examines the potential impacts of the relevant policies listed above on community services.


(1) Less-than-Significant Community Service Impacts. Implementation of Policies LU-15, T-16, T-29, H-25, H-26, H-29, H-31, H-45, S-4, S-22, S-24, S-25, S-26, EM-5, EM-6, EM-7, EM-8 and EM-9 relate to community services but would not be expected to result in significant adverse environmental impacts.


Please refer to Section IV.A, Land Use, for additional discussion of the potential impacts of Policies LU-13, LU-16 through LU-18, LU-22, LU-27, LU-28, LU-31, LU-35, LU-37, LU-38, LU-40 and LU-41. Policy S-12 is discussed in Section IV.G, Infrastructure. Policies EM-12 and EM-13 are discussed in Section IV.N, Hazardous Materials.


Impact SVC-1: Policies encouraging increased commercial development and residential population in the Downtown (Policy LU-18), as well as higher-density housing and commercial development in commercial and mixed use districts and along transit corridors (Policy H-15) could result in increased demand for library services, especially at Branch libraries. (LTS)


The demand for library services in Berkeley has historically been relatively high, and would be expected to continue to increase, especially in light of the increased population proposed in the Draft General Plan. Although seismic retrofit, renovation, and expansion of the Central Library is currently underway, no funding has been made available for improvements to the Branch libraries, all of which require renovations and upgrades to permit the use of new technologies.


Mitigation Measure SVC-1: None required. (LTS)


Impact SVC-2: Policies encouraging increased commercial development and residential population in the Downtown (Policy LU-18), as well as higher-density housing and commercial development in commercial and mixed use districts and along transit corridors (Policy H-15) could result in increased solid waste generation. (LTS)


The increase from 2000 to 2020 in total housing units projected in the Draft General Plan of 3,380 would be expected to increase residential solid waste generation by approximately 9,802 tons (based on a solid waste generation factor of 2.9 tons per household per year provided by the City of Berkeley's Solid Waste Management Division). In 1999, based on existing solid waste generation and disposal rates, the Vasco Road landfill had 18 years of remaining capacity. Concurrently, the City of Berkeley has implemented and is continuing to improve waste stream diversion programs. The City estimates that, as of 2000, approximately 41 percent of the City's waste stream is diverted. Because of remaining capacity at the Vasco Road landfill, and the City's solid waste reduction programs, the cumulative increase in solid waste over the Draft General Plan buildout period could be accommodated without creating significant impacts. Implementation of proposed Draft General Plan Policies EM-5, EM-6, EM-7 and EM-8 in combination with existing and continued waste stream diversion programs, would neither result in a substantial decrease in remaining available space at a landfill, nor interfere with waste diversion levels mandated by the California Integrated Waste Management Act. Therefore, this impact would be considered less than significant, and no mitigation would be required.


Mitigation Measure SVC-2: None required. (LTS)


(2) Significant Community Service Impacts. The Draft General Plan does not require the expansion of police, fire, solid waste, or health and support services to support growth projected by the Draft General Plan. Implementation of the Draft General Plan could result in an increased demand for community services. If the increased demand for services would exceed existing or planned staffing levels, the Draft General Plan would result in a significant impact on community services.


Impact SVC-3: The construction of an additional hill area fire station (Policy S-21) may result in indirect or direct environmental impacts. (PS)


This policy refers to completion of an additional fire station in the Berkeley hills. Completion of this project would result in a net benefit to community services by providing faster response times to fires and emergencies in the hills. Construction of the fire station could have direct environmental impacts, which would be evaluated according to the appropriate level of environmental review as part of the City's review and approval procedures for any new plans for public buildings constructed in Berkeley. Given that Policy S-21 does not identify a site for the future station, it is premature to attempt to evaluate the project-specific impacts of a new station. Additionally, Policy LU-41 would ensure that development and expansion by public agencies would be consistent with the California Environmental Quality Act. Any significant impacts identified during environmental review would be addressed prior to approval and construction of a new station.


Mitigation Measure SVC-3: Prior to approval of any new fire stations, the City shall conduct an environmental review of the proposed project to determine whether the proposed project would cause any significant adverse environmental impacts. (LTS)


Impact SVC-4: Policies encouraging increased residential development in the Downtown (Policy LU-18), as well as higher-density housing and commercial development in commercial and mixed use districts and along transit corridors (Policy H-15), and additional University housing (Policy H-31) could result in increased demand for police services. (PS)


Some policies contained in the General Plan would encourage medium- and high-density housing and an increase in commercial development as well as the population of the Downtown, which could increase demand for police services by people who live in, work in, or visit the Downtown. While no empirical evidence exists to show that increased density and population are directly linked to an increase in the rate of crime, an increase in the population downtown would lead to more calls for service.


A relatively large share of the City's reported crimes occur around the University area. Despite the lack of evidence on a linkage between crime and density, Policy H-31 (which would encourage additional University housing near the campus area) could potentially result in increased levels of reported crimes in the immediate campus vicinity.


As stated in the Setting section, police department staffing is reviewed by the City Council each budget cycle. That review considers historical and current year reported crime rates. Because of the lack of evidence of a direct link between increased population and crime rates, the increase in population would only be expected to have a marginal effect on police services. Therefore, because staffing is reviewed and the police department makes recommendations for future staffing each two-year budget cycle based on reported crimes, no significant impacts to police services are anticipated with the implementation of the policies and development projected in the Draft General Plan.


Mitigation Measure SVC-4: The City shall annually review police staffing development trends and crime trends to determine whether additional police staffing is needed. (LTS)

Impact SVC-5: Policies encouraging increased residential development in the Downtown (Policy LU-18), as well as higher-density housing and commercial development in commercial and mixed use districts and along transit corridors (Policy H-15) could result in increased demand for school facilities and educational services in some areas of the City. (PS)


An increased residential population in the City would result in increased demand for space in BUSD public school facilities which could exceed occupancy limits of existing facilities and create classroom overcrowding. It is difficult to assess the magnitude of this potential impact because the BUSD cannot provide a calculation of existing capacity as of the publish date of this Draft EIR. In addition, the BUSD cannot provide estimates of the numbers of school-age children that would result from the increased residential population in the City proposed under the Draft General Plan.


The BSEP, which was renewed in 1994, provides funding to the BUSD to enforce lowering of class sizes and enrichment funding for each school, as described above. In addition, State measures also contain provisions for school funding to reduce class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios. The BUSD may also choose to adopt a development impact fee collection program in the future, in order to address potential impacts to school facilities and educational services in the City.


Mitigation Measure SVC-5: The City and the BUSD will continue to work in concert to evaluate the impacts of new development on BUSD facilities. (LTS)


Impact SVC-6: Policies encouraging increased commercial development and residential population in the Downtown (Policy LU-18), as well as higher-density housing and commercial development in commercial and mixed use districts and along transit corridors (Policy H-15), and additional University housing (Policy H-31) could result in an increased demand for fire services. (PS)


Assumed levels of development under the Draft General Plan are estimated to result in approximately an additional 708 calls (emergency and non-emergency) per year to the BFD when considering the assumed 2020 population and current calls-per-resident ratios. To maintain current service levels, the BFD would need to increase staffing and associated resources to prevent safety risks by 2020. Staffing for fire and emergency services in the City is reviewed every two-year budget cycle, and BFD equipment needs tend to be assessed in 10-year cycles, due to the high cost of equipment and equipment life spans.


Implementation of the following mitigation measure would reduce this impact to a less-than-significant level.


Mitigation Measure SVC-6a: The BFD shall continue to review new development for potential increases in fire safety hazards to ensure that new development does not adversely impact fire services.


Mitigation Measure SVC-6b: The City shall annually review BFD staffing levels and development trends to determine whether additional staffing or impact fees are warranted to support fire services. (LTS)

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