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Department of Planning & Development
Department of Planning & Development

Chapter III


P    P    P

A. Introduction


California State Law requires each City to adopt a General Plan for the physical development of the City that will guide all land use and public improvement decisions. All general plans must include land use, transportation, housing, open space, conservation, noise and safety elements, and may also include optional elements in response to specific community issues, values, needs, or local conditions. Cities are required to review and revise the General Plan at reasonable intervals to ensure that the plan is long term in perspective, internally consistent and up-to-date.

City of Berkeley staff, with assistance from a Planning Commission subcommittee, and with the benefit of over 75 community meetings over a 6-year time period, have prepared a Draft General Plan, which updates the City's existing Master Plan from 1977. The Draft General Plan involves reorganization and revision of elements contained in the 1977 Master Plan, as well as the addition of several new elements, including some not required by State law. This chapter describes the Draft General Plan and its regional and planning context, its major components and the public involvement process.


B. Regional Location and Setting


The City of Berkeley is located on the San Francisco Bay in Alameda County, about 7 miles east of San Francisco, as shown in Figure III-1. Berkeley is part of the greater nine-county San Francisco Bay Region, and is also part of the East Bay subregion, which includes parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. As of January 1, 2000, the City of Berkeley's population was estimated at 109,463 people,

Figure III-1 Regional Location 82 x 11

as compared with the population of Alameda County which was estimated at 1,433,300 people.

The City of Berkeley is bounded by the cities of Kensington and Albany to the north, open space of Wildcat Canyon Regional Park to the east, the cities of Oakland and Emeryville to the south, and the San Francisco Bay to the west. The City is connected to other municipalities and regions by a system of intercity arterial streets, two State Highways (State Route (SR) 13 along Ashby Avenue and SR 123 along San Pablo Avenue) and one Interstate Highway (I-80). In addition, an actively used Southern Pacific rail line runs roughly parallel to I-80 at the western edge of the City and connects the City with Oakland and points throughout California and the United States to the east.

Little land is available for development in the City of Berkeley, as it is already largely built-out. The most intensive development in the City is located on the low-lying plain between the Bay to the west and the coastal mountain range to the east, including significant areas of development on Bay fills in the western portion of the City. The City limits extend eastward into the East Bay hills, creating two distinct topographical areas of the City, often referred to as Athe hills@ and Athe flatlands@. In addition to the developed areas of the City, Berkeley also has abundant open space, including public parks and recreational facilities; public plazas; sidewalks; stairways and trails; landscaped medians; the University of California (UC) campus and other school grounds; community gardens; water features; and privately-owned outdoor spaces. The City of Berkeley contains five principal creeks: Derby, Potter, Strawberry, Schoolhouse and Codornices, all of which flow west from the hills to the Bay. As a result of urbanization, most of these creeks are contained within underground drain culverts, although Strawberry and Codornices Creeks have significant portions unculverted (see Figure IV.J-1 in the Section IV.J, Hydrology, of this EIR).


C. The Draft General Plan Update Process


The City of Berkeley adopted its current Master Plan in 1977. Much of the narrative and policy of the 1977 Master Plan has become outdated, superseded or fulfilled over the past 20 years.


In the early 1990s, the City of Berkeley began compiling background information as part of the General Plan update process, and prepared the Conditions, Trends and Issues (CTI) report in 1993. The CTI report is a compilation of baseline information to inform the Draft General Plan.


The Draft General Plan: A Guide for Public Decision-Making (Draft General Plan) replaces the 1977 Berkeley Master Plan, the 1980 Berkeley Economic Development Element and the 1990 Berkeley Housing Element. The Draft General Plan is designed to work in conjunction with the City's more detailed area plans, which were adopted as amendments to the 1977 Master Plan. Because the Draft General Plan would supersede the 1977 Master Plan the following area plans will be re-adopted as part of the Draft General Plan:

  • Waterfront Plan (1986);
  • South Berkeley Plan (1990);
  • South Shattuck Strategic Plan (1998);
  • Downtown Plan (1990);
  • University Avenue Strategic Plan (1996);
  • West Berkeley Plan (1993); and
  • Bicycle Plan (2000).


D. Draft General Plan Components


1. Draft General Plan Format


The Draft General Plan includes goals, objectives, policies, and actions. The goals outline the overall purpose and intent of the Draft General Plan. Objectives included in each of the nine elements provide direction for achieving Draft General Plan goals. The policies and actions within each element ensure that City decisions regarding the physical development of the City are consistent with the direction established by the Plan goals and objectives. The Implementation Chapter and Action Agenda identify the highest priority actions in each element to be completed within the first five years of Draft General Plan implementation to achieve the Draft General Plan goals. The Action Agenda is designed to be reviewed and amended annually in coordination with the City's annual budget decisions. (See Section F of this Project Description for more discussion of the Action Agenda.)


2. Draft General Plan Goals


The Draft General Plan includes four goals, as described below:


Goal 1. Preserve Berkeley's Unique Character and Quality of Life. The themes addressed under this goal are:

  • Maintaining City infrastructure, parks and other public assets.
  • Preparing for natural disasters.
  • Reducing traffic and encouraging transit.
  • Regulating development.


Goal 2. Ensure That Berkeley Has an Adequate Supply of Decent Housing, Living Wage Jobs, and Businesses Providing Basic Goods and Services. The themes addressed under this goal are:

  • Increasing the supply of affordable housing.
  • Supporting locally-owned and neighborhood-serving businesses.
  • Promoting a strong industrial base and living wage jobs.


Goal 3. Protect Local and Regional Environmental Quality. The themes addressed under this goal are:

  • Restoring creeks and planting trees.
  • Improving air quality and conserving resources.


Goal 4. Maximize and Improve Citizen Participation in Municipal Decision-Making. The themes addressed under this goal are:

  • Improving notification and the dissemination of information.
  • Improving citizen participation.
  • Improving the responsiveness of City administration and staff.


3. Draft General Plan Elements


The Draft General Plan includes all seven required elements (land use, transportation, housing, open space, conservation, noise and safety), incorporating the Noise and Conservation Elements into one Environmental Management Element. The Draft General Plan also includes three optional elements: Economic Development and Employment; Preservation and Design, and Citizen Participation, and the Implementation chapter. Appendix B of this EIR contains a compendium of all Draft General Plan policies and actions.


This section summarizes the main points of each Draft General Plan element, as outlined in the Draft General Plan.

a. Land Use Element. The Land Use Element establishes policies for the use and development of land throughout the City. The Land Use Map (shown in Figure IV.A-2 in Section IV.A, Land Use, of this EIR) shows the general distribution of land uses in the City based upon the policies of the Draft General Plan. Development limits and the range of uses established by the Land Use Map may be modified by the zoning ordinance, which determines specific regulations governing the development of property. Table III-1 shows the allowable intensity of development and zoning compatibility for the land use designations on the 2000 Draft General Plan Land Use Map.


(1) Land Use Designation and Policy Changes. The Land Use Element of the Draft General Plan includes a Land Use Map, shown in Figure IV.A-2. The Land Use Map establishes land uses across the City based upon the policies of the Draft General Plan. The land use designations are not in all cases directly relatable to the designations shown on the Land Use Map in the 1977 Master Plan; in some cases, the categories have been renamed, or are designated in different ways between the two documents. Table III-2 shows the land use designations from the 2000 Draft General Plan Land Use map, aligned with the most closely related designation from the 1977 Master Plan, based on their allowable densities and general locations on the map. The text below outlines the major differences in land use designations between the two General Plans.

  • The Draft General Plan has two designations for Open Space and Institutional, whereas the 1977 Master Plan has only one designation, Recreation/Institution.
  • The Draft General Plan has three residential land use designations, Low-, Medium- and High-Density Residential, whereas the 1977 Master Plan has four residential designations. In addition, the 1977 Master Plan residential land use designations do not have names, and are instead solely designated by their maximum allowable residential density, including 0-10 dwelling units per acre (du/acre), 11-20 du/acre, 21-40 du/acre and 41-100 du/acre.
  • In addition to maximum residential densities for residential districts, the Draft General Plan establishes allowable floor area ratio (FAR) standards for non-residential districts, and allowable uses and zoning compatibility for each land use designation. The 1977 Master Plan does not utilize FAR, allowable uses or zoning compatibility for any land use designations.
  • The 1977 Master Plan sets a Central district designation for the Downtown area. The Draft General Plan sets a Downtown district which reflects the 1990 Downtown Plan area. The allowable density in the Downtown district is an FAR of 3.0 to 6.0, which is consistent with the Downtown Plan for this area.

Table III-1 




Maximum Residential Density

Allowable Uses

Zoning Compatibilityc




9 du/acreb

Residential, community service, recreational, open space

R-1, ES-R




26 du/acre

Residential, community service, recreational, open space

R-1A, R-2, R-2A




100 du/acre

Residential, community service, office, institutional, recreational, open space, ground floor commercial, where allowed by zoning

R-3, R-4

Neighborhood Commercial

Mixed Use

0.8 to 3.0


Commercial, residential, office, community service, institutional


Avenue Commercial

Mixed Use

3.0 to 4.0


Commercial, residential, office, community service, institutional

CSA, C-1, CT, CW


Mixed Use

3.0 to 6.0


Medium-density and high-density housing, regional and local serving arts, entertainment, retail, office, cultural, open space, civic, institutional and facilities


Manufacturing Mixed Use

1 to 1.5


Light manufacturing, light industrial, residential, retail, office




Residential not allowed

Manufacturing, industrial, laboratory, wholesale, waste disposal, retail, office, construction-related, auto-related


Open Space


Residential not allowed

Parks, recreational facilities, school yards, community services, facilities necessary for the maintenance of the areas





Institutional, government, educational, recreational, open space, natural habitat, public service




Residential not allowed

Open space, recreational, waterfront-related commercial and visitor services, boating and water transit facilities


a Floor Area Ratio, which is determined by dividing the total floor area of the building by the area of the parcel.

b Dwelling units per acre.

c Zoning Compatibility identifies existing zoning designations that are consistent with the General Plan land use classification.

Source: City of Berkeley, 2000.


Table III-2 



2000 Draft General Plan

1977 Master Plan

Low-Density Residential

0-10 du/acre

Medium-Density Residential

11-20 du/acre

21-40 du/acre

High-Density Residential

41-100 du/acre

Neighborhood Commercial Mixed Use

Commercial Service District

Avenue Commercial Mixed Use

Commercial/Residential District

Downtown Mixed Use


Manufacturing Mixed Use

Special Industrial District



Open Space






Source: City of Berkeley, 2000, Draft General Plan; City of Berkeley, 1977 Master Plan.


(2) Land Use Element Objectives. The policies of the Land Use Element are intended to achieve the following objectives:

1. Maintain the character of Berkeley.

2. Maintain and enhance Berkeley's residential areas.

3. Maintain and enhance Berkeley's commercial areas and the Downtown.

4. Maintain and protect Berkeley's remaining industrial areas.

5. Minimize the impacts and maximize the benefits of the University of California on the citizens of Berkeley.

6. Establish the waterfront area west of the freeway (I-80) as a recreational and open space resource.


b. Transportation Element. The Transportation Element establishes policies for the movement of people, goods and vehicles through the City. The Transportation Element and Land Use Element are designed to be interconnected. This connection is made by land use and transportation policies that: 1) concentrate new development in areas of the City that are already well-served by public transportation; 2) emphasize transit-oriented design; and 3) emphasize access by proximity to public transportation. The Transportation Element identifies major vehicular, transit, bicycle and emergency evacuation routes through the City.


The policies of the Transportation Element are intended to achieve the following objectives:

1. Maintain and improve public transportation services throughout the City.

2. Reduce automobile use and vehicle miles traveled in Berkeley, and the related impacts by providing and advocating for transportation alternatives and subsidies that facilitate voluntary decisions to drive less.

3. Improve the quality of life in Berkeley neighborhoods by calming and slowing traffic through neighborhoods.

4. Maintain and improve the existing infrastructure and facilities for the movement of people, goods, and vehicles within and through the City.

5. Improve the management of public parking to better serve the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.

6. Create a model bicycle and pedestrian-friendly City where bicycling and walking are safe, attractive, easy, and convenient forms of transportation and recreation for people of all ages and abilities.


The Transportation Element is supported by four maps: vehicular circulation, bike circulation, transit circulation, and emergency access and evacuation network. These maps are presented in the Section IV.C, Transportation and Circulation, of this EIR.


c. Housing Element. The Housing Element serves as the City's overall housing goal and policy framework, and is intended to guide decisions that will encourage the development, rehabilitation and increased availability of housing in Berkeley. The Housing Element is required by state law to contain an analysis of projected housing needs; a statement of goals, policies and quantified objectives; a description of financial resources available; and a schedule of programs for the preservation, improvement and development of housing.


The objectives of the Housing Element are the following:

1. Housing Affordability. Berkeley residents should have access to decent housing at a range of prices they can afford in pleasant neighborhoods that meet standards of quality. All current evidence indicates that the shortage of housing inventory increases as income declines. The shortage is particularly acute at the lowest levels of affordability in both the ownership and rental housing stock. Limited City resources must focus on these areas of need.

2. Maintenance of Existing Housing and Disaster Preparedness. Existing housing should be maintained, improved, and fully utilized. In addition, Berkeley anticipates substantial damage to housing units from a major earthquake on the northern segment of the Hayward Fault. Given housing market conditions here, it is critical that the community plan to avoid a net loss of housing units resulting from earthquakes or other major disasters.

3. Expansion of the Housing Supply. New housing should be developed to expand housing opportunities in Berkeley in accordance with density and environmental standards. Particular attention should be directed at development on transit corridors and nodes.

4. Special Needs Housing. Berkeley should have an adequate supply of housing throughout the City for people with special needs. Consistent with this objective, Berkeley should maintain its efforts to reduce homelessness through regional coordination, provision of appropriate service-enriched housing, and where feasible, fill gaps in housing and services in its overall continuum of care. Additionally, Berkeley should strive to increase the available housing for those who have physical and/or mental disabilities.

5. Relationship with the University of California and Other Institutions. The University of California and other institutions should take responsibility for the housing demand that they generate which creates additional pressure on the private housing market in Berkeley. By doing so, they would help avoid causing or increasing housing problems for other Berkeley residents. The City will work with the University and other state institutions to create new housing and jointly address housing issues of mutual concern.

6. Fair and Accessible Housing. Fair and accessible housing is the law. All residents should have equal access to housing opportunities, to necessary accommodations in their housing, to adequate financing and insurance, and to purchase, sell, rent, and lease property.

7. Regional Cooperation. Promote regional cooperation on housing and related issues to achieve planning goals.

8. Public Participation in Housing Decisions. Berkeley should improve the role of neighborhood residents and community organizations in the planning process. This includes thorough and timely notification to all interested parties.

9. Future Housing Element Revisions. Maintain an up-to-date Housing Element. Conduct a public review and update of the Housing Element every five years to examine whether major changes in policies may be necessary in order to achieve General Plan goals.


d. Disaster Preparedness and Safety Element. The Disaster Preparedness Safety Element establishes policies to reduce the potential risk of death, injuries, property damage and dislocation resulting from hazards such as earthquakes, fires, floods, landslides and other hazards.


The objectives of the Disaster Preparedness and Community Safety Element are to:

1. Emergency Preparedness and Response. Establish and maintain an effective emergency response program that anticipates the potential for disasters, maintains continuity of life-support functions during an emergency, and institutes community-based disaster response planning involving businesses, non-governmental organizations, and neighborhoods.

2. Recovery Planning. Ensure the sound, equitable and timely reconstruction of Berkeley following a major disaster.

3. Mitigation. Improve and develop City programs to reduce risks to people and property from natural and man-made hazards to socially and economically acceptable levels.

4. Disaster-Resistant Land Use Planning. Plan for and regulate the uses of land to minimize exposure to hazards from either natural or human-related causes and to contribute to a Adisaster-resistant@ community.

5. Seismic Hazards. Reduce the potential for loss of life, injury, and economic damage resulting from earthquakes and associated hazards.

6. Fire Hazards. Reduce the potential for loss of life, injury, and economic damage resulting from urban and wild land fire.

7. Flood Hazards. Reduce the potential for loss of life and property damage in areas known to be subject to flood hazards.


e. Open Space and Recreation Element. The Open Space and Recreation Element establishes policies for maintenance, improvement and expansion of Berkeley's open space and recreation facilities. This element addresses traditional publicly-owned open spaces such as parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, swim centers, public gardens, and the Berkeley Marina, as well as some non-traditional open spaces such as public paths and stairways, landscaped medians, sidewalks and street trees.


The objectives of the Open Space and Recreation Element are to:

1. To preserve, maintain, and repair the city's existing open space and recreational resources and facilities.

2. To expand open space and recreational resources to meet the evolving open space and recreational needs of all segments of this community through land acquisitions and improvements.

3. To increase funding for parkland, recreational facilities, and open space maintenance, improvement and expansion.


f. Environmental Management Element. The Environmental Management Element sets forth policies to manage the City's natural resources. The Environmental Management Element includes the required conservation and noise elements, which address the conservation of natural resources and the protection of the community from excessive noise.


Objectives of the Environmental Management Element are to make Berkeley a more environmentally-sustainable community by:

1. Promoting development and coordination of local and regional environmental management programs and facilitating community participation in environmental protection and conservation.

2. Reducing solid and hazardous wastes and minimizing risk from hazardous materials.

3. Reducing emissions and improving air quality.

4. Conserving water, improving water quality and facilitating creek restoration.

5. Protecting, maintaining and enhancing the urban forest (street and park trees) and natural habitat areas.

6. Supporting and promoting a local food system based upon sustainable regional agriculture to assure access to healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate foods.

7. Reducing non-renewable energy consumption and unnecessary glare from inappropriate lighting.

8. Protecting the community from excessive noise levels.


g. Economic Development and Employment Element. The Economic Development and Employment Element is the first of three optional elements in the Draft General Plan. This element establishes policies for promoting, through City programs and incentives, the long-term success of the Berkeley economy. The purpose of the element is to create employment and ownership opportunities for Berkeley residents, encourage appropriate business development in Berkeley, and support the development of the cultural and artistic sectors of the Berkeley economy.


The objectives of the Economic Development and Employment Element are to:

1. Provide a variety of jobs with varied skill levels for residents of Berkeley.

2. Promote community and neighborhood values.

3. Support businesses that are independent, locally-owned and neighborhood serving.

4. Encourage environmentally sustainable business.

5. Promote revitalization in neighborhoods and communities that have historically higher-than-average rates of unemployment.

6. Promote a strong industrial base as a vital foundation of a stable economy.

7. Increase social and economic equity in land use decisions.

8. Support culture and the arts in Berkeley.


h. Preservation and Design Element. The Preservation and Design Element is the second of three optional elements of the Draft General Plan, and establishes policies to guide decision-making regarding the physical design of the City. This element is also intended to ensure that the physical design of the City is considered in all City decision-making and that decisions regarding the physical design of the City consider other General Plan objectives.


The Preservation and Design Element also identifies the following objectives:

1. Protection of Existing Resources. Preserve historically or culturally important structures, sites, and areas and protect the character of Berkeley's neighborhoods and districts. (See the Land Use Element for more policies on the Character of Berkeley.)

2. Preservation Incentives. Provide incentives for the preservation of historic and cultural resources.

3. New Construction and Alterations. Ensure that new construction and alterations are well designed and respect and enhance the existing environment.

4. Outreach. Promote awareness and understanding of Berkeley's built environment and cultural heritage and of how to conserve and improve them.


i. Citizen Participation Element. The Citizen Participation Element is the third optional element of the Draft General Plan. This element establishes policies to facilitate citizen participation in public decision-making and government, and ensure that public decisions are responsive to the diverse interests and needs of all Berkeley citizens.


The intent of the Citizen Participation Element is to achieve the following objectives:

1. Ensure citizen and community participation in General Plans and other planning tasks.

2. Improve citizen participation in relationship to the crucial decision-making bodies in land use matters.

3. Enhance notification, information, and improve the process for citizen input in land use matters.

4. Improve neighborhood participation in land use planning and decisions.

5. Increase the use of new technology for citizen participation; and

6. Improve the role of City administrative structure and staff in relationship to meaningful citizen participation.


j. Implementation Chapter. The Implementation Chapter of the Draft General Plan includes policies to ensure that the Draft General Plan remains a living document that is annually reviewed and considered during the annual City Budget process. The intent of the policies is to ensure that the Draft General Plan remains current, reflects the changing priorities and needs of the community, and serves as a guide to annual City expenditures to ensure that the annual City Budget is consistent with General Plan goals, objectives and policies. The Implementation Chapter also includes an AAction Agenda@ which identifies the highest priority actions that should be completed within the first two years of Draft General Plan implementation to ensure achievement of Draft General Plan goals. The Action Agenda's function is to maintain a list of the most important tasks that the City should accomplish in the short-term. It is also the City's intent to review the Action Agenda and amend it annually, as necessary. Although the Action Agenda is intended to influence annual City budget decisions, it is not intended to limit the authority of the City Council or the public to identify budget priorities that are not directly related to the physical development of the City or Draft General Plan implementation. Table III-3 shows the Draft General Plan implementation priorities for 2000 to 2002.

Table III-3 


FY 2000-2002 

General Plan Policy

Action Number



Land Use



LU-24 A-C

LU-28 +29 A-H

Development project review


LU-25 A

LU-26A + T-6 A

Parkland Impact Fee Study

Transit Impact Fee Study


LU-18 A-E

Zoning Amendments for General Plan or Area Plan consistency





Regional and local transit coordination and Transit Facility Improvement






Light Rail/Rapid Transit Study



City of Berkeley Model Employer



Residential Traffic Calming Program



Residential Parking Improvements

Partially funded


Downtown/Southside Parking Management

Partially funded


Bicycle Plan Implementation




Pedestrian Plan



ADA Transition Plan



H-1 A-E

Affordable Housing Ordinance

Partially funded


Limited Equity Coops Assistance


H-1, H-2, H-5

Affordable Housing Funding Sources



Section 8 Housing Lease Up

Partially funded


Homeless Continuum of Care Plan

Partially funded

Open Space


Aquatic Park Living Wall

Partially Funded


Santa Fe Right of Way Plan


OS-7, 8

I-80 Pedestrian Bridge



Bay Trail


OS-3, 7,

Youth Playing Fields



Tot Lot Safety Improvements



BUSD Pool Improvements

Partially Funded

Environmental Management

EM-23, 30

Aquatic Park Habitat Management and Hydrology Improvement Plan



Citywide Sewer Improvements

Partially Funded

EM-7, 8

Hazardous Waste Facility Study


EM-17, 18, 19

City of Berkeley Fleet Policy

Partially Funded

Disaster Preparedness and Safety

S-13, 20, 18

Public information B hazards mapping

Partially funded


North Hill Area Fire Station

Partially funded

S-2, 3, 5

Neighborhood Preparation

Partially funded

S-1, 5

Response Planning

Partially funded

S-10, 12, 20

Mitigation Initiatives

Partially funded


Fire Area Fuel Management

Partially funded

S-11, PD-16

Historic Building mitigation

Partially funded

Economic Development

ED-1 A-F,

Job training and placement

Partially funded

ED-3 A-C, ED-4

Neighborhood Commercial Development

(Local, small businesses incentive program, formula business regulations)

Partially funded


Promotion of West Berkeley manufacturing opportunities

Partially funded


Green Economy Promotions

Partially funded

ED-10, OS-7

Arts and Culture Plan



Conference Center/ Hotel Task Force


Historic Preservation and Design

PD-1 A + PD-6

Citywide Survey


PD-1 B + E, PD-4, PD-15, PD-21,

Zoning Ordinance, LPO, + Design Review Ordinance revisions


PD-3, PD-10

Landmark, District, + SM designations


PD-35, 36, 37

Outreach efforts


Citizen Participation

CP-1, CP-2

Procedures for Community involvement in major planning efforts


CP-6 A-E

Revisions to PC Procedures


CP-6 F-P

Revisions to ZAB Procedures


CP-8, CP-9

Information technology improvements



City structure and staff improvements


Source: City of Berkeley, Draft General Plan, 2000.


The objectives of the Implementation Element are the following:

1. Ensure effective implementation of the General Plan through close coordination with City Council on annual budget and capital improvement plan expenditures.

2. Ensure that annual budget and capital improvement plan expenditures address current community priorities and needs as well as long term goals for the physical development of the City.

3. Ensure that the General Plan remains a dynamic, up-to-date, responsive guide for the physical development of the City.


E. Population, Employment and Housing Projections


For the purpose of evaluating the potential effect of proposed Draft General Plan goals, objectives and policies, City staff prepared projections for households, population and jobs. These projections are used to measure the environmental effects of the Draft General Plan, and may also be used in future years to measure progress in implementation of the Plan.


The following information was considered by City staff when developing year 2020 projections:

  • The national census figures for 1970, 1980, and 1990.
  • The State Department of Finance figures for households, housing units and population in Berkeley as of January 1, 2000 (based upon Census figures and City records regarding construction and demolition permits).
  • The Association of Bay Area Government (ABAG) publication Projections 1998 (December 1997) figures for projected households, population and jobs in 2000 and 2020. The ABAG figures are based upon regional trends and existing local General Plan and zoning constraints.
  • Data from ABAG's Projections 2000 (December 1999) were used to confirm and cross check assumptions that result from the use of Projections 1998. Projections 1998 is used as the baseline document because the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency's (CMA) regional traffic model, which was used to project traffic impacts, was based upon Projections 1998 as of the date this EIR was prepared. The City is required to use the CMA's traffic model for environmental analysis of the Draft General Plan.

Using the information described above, the following projections were established for this EIR:

1. Households. The City of Berkeley projects a net increase of 3,176 households (approximately 3,340 housing units) by 2020 over the existing year 2000 estimate of 44,030 households for a total of 47,206 households in the City of Berkeley in 2020. The increase in housing reflects Berkeley's Regional Housing Needs Allocation of 167 units per year for 20 years. In general, the additional units were projected to be built in the Downtown, in the vicinity of UC Berkeley, along University Avenue, Southside, along Shattuck Avenue, along San Pablo Avenue and in West Berkeley.

2. Population. City staff projected a 2020 population figure by multiplying the number of households (occupied housing units assuming a -4.9 percent citywide vacancy rate) by 2.19 (estimated average household size) and adding the group quarters population. (The population estimate assumes that additional University housing will continue to be built in Aunits@ instead of dormitories. For the purpose of these projections, approximately two dormitory beds may be counted as one Aunit@.) Based on the previous assumptions, City staff projects an increase of 6,955 people over the existing 2000 population estimate of 109,404 people for a total population of 116,359 in 2020.

3. Jobs. The City of Berkeley projects an increase of 3,735 jobs by 2020 over the existing year 2000 estimate of 76,160 jobs for a total of 79,895 jobs in the City of Berkeley in 2020. For the Draft General Plan, additional job growth was projected primarily in the Downtown, in the vicinity of UC Berkeley, in the Southside, and in West Berkeley. The Draft General Plan does not include any policies specifically designed to increase the rate of job growth in Berkeley, and changes to previous job projections were limited to minor adjustments to the distribution of jobs throughout the City and some minor increases in some areas to account for additional potential growth by major employers such as UC Berkeley, Bayer, and Alta Bates Hospital.

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