Ursula Sherman Housing
Notice of Zoning Board Decision

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City of Berkeley
Zoning Adjustments Board
NOTICE OF DECISION Board Decision Date: 07-24-03 USE PERMIT: #02-10000017
Project Location: 711 HARRISON STREET ================================================================
The Zoning Adjustments Board of the City of Berkeley, after conducting a public hearing, APPROVED the following permit:
Use Permit under Section 23E.80.030.A of the Zoning Ordinance to add floor area.
Administrative Use Permit under Section 23E.28.060 of the Zoning Ordinance for joint use of parking spaces.

FINDINGS AND CONDITIONS ATTACHED
APPROVED PLANS ATTACHED (6 Sheets) BOARD VOTE: YES: ANTHONY, BLAKE, CAPITELLI, ISSEL, KATZ, MATTHEWS, WEINBERGER
NO: ABSTAIN: SPRAGUE ABSENT: TIEDEMANN
DATE NOTICE MAILED: 07-30-03 APPEAL PERIOD EXPIRATION: 08-13-03
___________________
transitional HousingApplicant: boona cheema
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)
Address: 2065 Kittredge Street, Suite E
Berkeley, CA 94704Staff Planner: Wendy Cosin
Exhibit 1
CEQA FINDINGS
I. SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES
A. Impact 4.1-3 Air Quality

Significant Impact: Future shelter occupants at the project site could be exposed to elevated concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5. Exposure to levels greater than either the annual or 24-hour standards may result in adverse health problems for sensitive receptors.
Partial Mitigation Measures:


Disclose Site Health Hazard. The applicant shall disclose the site health hazard to potential shelter occupants during occupant intake/interview selection process. The disclosure shall include notification of air quality conditions at the site (exceedance of state and federal PM2.5 standards and state PM10 standards) and associated potential medical effects from exposure to air quality conditions. The disclosure shall indicate that PM10 concentrations generally are greatest Monday through Saturday, between 7am and 3pm (as adjusted for most accurate transfer station operating hours).

Direct Future Occupants with Respiratory Problems to Other Locations. The applicant will screen future shelter occupants and direct those with preexisting illnesses (e.g. asthma) who may be adversely affected by air quality problems to BOSS' other transitional houses.

Provide HVAC or Air Filtration System for All New Buildings. The applicant shall equip all new buildings with an HVAC system or a dedicated and filtered outside air system to properly ventilate indoor air. The system shall be designed to treat outdoor air supply prior to being circulated indoors. The treatment shall include the removal of particulate matter with diameter equal to or greater than 0.5 microns; the removal efficiency shall be at least 90 percent. The system shall be designed and constructed in accordance with applicable building design codes (i.e., Uniform Building Code) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. The system shall be maintained and operated in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local requirements. The system shall be operated in a manner that would not worsen indoor air quality conditions.

Notify Occupants of Importance of Effectively Using Air Filtration System. The applicant shall notify future shelter occupants during intake that maintaining closed windows and doors during the air filtration system operation would yield optimum indoor air quality, specifically during hours of operation at the transfer station or other hours if air quality is determined to be below standards. This notification shall also be posted throughout the project site.

Finding: Installation and use of an HVAC or air filtration system will improve indoor air quality, however the impact remains significant because outdoor air will not be treated. Directing occupants with health problems to other sites will lessen the impact for individual persons. The mitigation measures will provide significant improvement to the quality of indoor air; however, there is not feasible way to guarantee that residents will not open doors or windows, or to treat outdoor air.

Rationale: The project will provide new transitional housing for up to 18 families and 8 single adults that would not otherwise be provided. Provision of transitional housing is a goal for the City. The applicant would lose a $500,000 state grant if the project were delayed by relocation to another site, and alternative funding is not available. The Draft EIR identified environmentally superior sites, however, they would not meet project objectives and are not economically feasible

IV. ALTERNATIVES
As required by CEQA, discussion of possible alternatives to the Project, including a No Action Alternative, was contained in the Draft EIR. With the adoption of the Project, the City of Berkeley makes the following findings regarding the rejection of the other alternatives in favor of the Project.

A. Off-Site Location Alternatives
Description: Several off-site locations within the City are potential alternatives to the proposed project. The alternative locations have been chosen as potentially feasible for construction of new transitional housing and/or relocation of support services from the project site at Harrison Street to other locations. The Off-site Alternative locations are: U.S. Post Office (6th and Harrison Streets), City Corporation Yard (2208 Acton Street), Flamingo Motel (1761 University Avenue), 926 Murray Street, and Scattered-site, Transit-access Housing (1719-25 University and/or 2612 San Pablo Avenue. The size of the sites vary and some could only partially accommodate the proposed project and programs.

Findings: The environmental conditions at the off-site alternatives are better than at the project site; however, all of the alternative sites would be considered infeasible if control of the properties was not funded by the applicant or the City. The applicant does not have additional funding to purchase or lease properties not owned by the City, and would lose a $500,000 state grant if the project were delayed by relocation. The City does not have funding to replace this grant or to purchase an alternative site for the project. One of the alternative sites is owned by the City; however, there are no plans or funding to move the City’s Corporation Yard. The majority of the sites (Flamingo Motel, 926 Murray Street, 1719-25 University, and 2612 San Pablo) would not meet the basic objectives of the project because they are too small to accommodate a “village-type” project. The U.S. Post Office site was considered the environmentally superior alternative; however, funding is not available to purchase or lease the property.

B. CEQA-Mandated No Project Alternative
Description: Under the No Project Alternative the site would remain as it is today. The existing Use Permit would allow up to 100 residents; however, no significant amount of construction would take place. The facility would remain an emergency homeless shelter and programs would continue to operate as they do today. Transitional housing would not be provided.

Findings: The No Project Alternative would not result any new adverse environmental consequences. Maintaining the facility for shorter-term emergency housing would create fewer impacts on future residents than longer-term transitional housing. However, this alternative meets none of the Project objectives, and does not provide additional needed transitional housing and programs.

V. STATEMENT OF OVERRIDING CONSIDERATIONS
The Ursula Sherman Village proposes many benefits to homeless families and individuals. In addition to providing transitional housing, support services including counseling, meeting space, a laundry, case management offices, adult and teen education, a village supplies store, and childcare program will be provided. Homeless families and single adults are among the most discriminated-against populations in our society. The City’s General Plan recognizes that the housing shortage is particularly acute at the lowest levels of affordability. The Housing Element calls for provision of emergency shelter and transitional housing and for coordination of housing with supportive services for people with special needs. The Berkeley Homeless Continuum of Care Plan states that, “there is a significant shortage of transitional housing, especially for families”.

The only significant impact identified is that future shelter occupants at the project site could be exposed to elevated concentrations of PM10 and PM 2.5 and that this may result in adverse health problems for people with respiratory problems. Mitigation measures will minimize, but not eliminate this potential impact. The City finds that the benefits of the project, as outlined above, are a significant public contribution and that these benefits outweigh the potential adverse impacts.

Exhibit 2FINDINGS FOR PERMIT APPROVAL

GENERAL NON-DETRIMENT FINDINGS:
1. Pursuant to and in compliance with BMC Section 23B.32.040, the Zoning Adjustments Board finds that the expansion of the BOSS Homeless Shelter, located at 711 Harrison Street, to add 10-12 transitional housing units and support services, and to expand the existing homeless shelter under the circumstances of this particular case, existing at the time at which the application is granted, will not be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the area or neighborhood of such proposed use, or be detrimental or injurious to property and improvements of the adjacent properties, the surrounding area or neighborhood, or to the general welfare of the City, for the following reasons:

A. The project is consistent with Section 23E.80.30A of the Zoning Ordinance, which explicitly allows the expansion of the homeless facility on the subject property. The City’s General Plan recognizes that the housing shortage is particularly acute at the lowest levels of affordability. The Housing Element calls for provision of emergency shelter and transitional housing and for coordination of housing with supportive services for people with special needs. While West Berkeley is primarily an industrial area and the West Berkeley Plan was written to protect such use, the General Plan and West Berkeley Plan also recognize the need for housing and services and, given the specificity of the zoning that was adopted to implement the West Berkeley Plan, the project is consistent with the West Berkeley Plan and General Plan.

B. The project will not be detrimental to the welfare of the neighborhood, of the persons working or residing therein, or of the City as a whole in that the proposed project is an expansion of an existing use about which there have not been problems; the project will meet an important need to provide additional homeless facilities as is recognized in the General Plan and the Berkeley Homeless Continuum of Care Plan, which states that, “there is a significant shortage of transitional housing, especially for families”; the height and scale of the project are below the maximum allowed by the Zoning Ordinance and will not have any impact on surrounding buildings or uses; traffic and parking demand are lower than would be created by a commercial project and will not adversely affect existing conditions; the project will not create any adverse environmental impacts that would affect surrounding uses; with the exception of air quality, all potentially significant environmental impacts are mitigated to a level of insignificance; and mitigations will minimize the impact of existing air quality on future residents by filtering indoor air and by diverting people with respiratory problems to other facilities.

2. Pursuant to and in compliance with BMC Section 23B.32.040, the Zoning Adjustments Board finds that utilization of shared parking with the Harrison Street Park facilities will not, under the circumstances of this particular case, existing at the time at which the application is granted, be detrimental to the health, safety, peace, morals, comfort, or general welfare of persons residing or working in the area or neighborhood of such proposed use, or be detrimental or injurious to property and improvements of the adjacent properties, the surrounding area or neighborhood, or to the general welfare of the City, for the following reasons: A. The project meets the criteria for joint use of off-street parking spaces pursuant to BMC Section 23E.28.060 because both facilities need parking at off-peak hours and the shared parking spaces are located within 800 feet of each other.

When the soccer fields were developed, shared parking was planned for the homeless facility and the park. The parking spaces serve different uses that will not be subject to substantial conflict in demand for the spaces. Peak time for the soccer field is on Saturdays. This is not a peak time for the project because single adults are required to leave the facility during the day (although families can stay on site). 6 1/2 months of the year, both the shelter and the soccer fields are active in the evening, however, the parking spaces should not be subject to substantial conflict because users tend to park closer to their destination and generally use adjacent on-street parking, especially when businesses are closed, rather than the parking lots adjacent to each use.

B. The proposed shared parking will not be detrimental to the welfare of the neighborhood, of the persons working or residing therein, or of the City as a whole in that environmental analysis shows adequate parking availability in the area, and the demand for parking for the homeless facility and transitional housing is anticipated to be low, based on comparisons with similar facilities.

Exhibit 3
CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL FOR USE PERMIT #02-1000017

SPECIAL CONDITIONS IMPOSED BY THE ZONING ADJUSTMENTS BOARD

23. Air Quality: The following mitigation measures are required to minimize the impact of existing air quality on future residents:
A. Direct Future Occupants with Respiratory Problems to Other Locations. The applicant shall screen future shelter occupants and direct those with preexisting illnesses (e.g.. asthma) who may be adversely affected by air quality problems to BOSS' other transitional houses.

B. Disclose Site Health Hazard. The applicant shall disclose the site health hazard to potential shelter occupants during occupant intake/interview selection process. The disclosure shall include notification of air quality conditions at the site (exceedance of state and federal PM2.5 standards and state PM10 standards) and associated potential medical effects from exposure to air quality conditions. The disclosure shall indicate thatPM10 concentrations generally are greatest Monday through Saturday, between 7am and 3pm (as adjusted for most accurate transfer station operating hours).

C. Provide HVAC or Air Filtration System for All New Buildings. The applicant shall equip all new buildings with an HVAC system or a dedicated and filtered outside air system to properly ventilate indoor air. The system shall be designed to treat outdoor air supply prior to being circulated indoors. The treatment shall include the removal of particulate matter with diameter equal to or greater than 0.5 microns; the removal efficiency shall be at least 90 percent. The system shall be designed and constructed in accordance with applicable building design codes (i.e., Uniform Building Code) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. The system shall be maintained and operated in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local requirements. The system shall be operated in a manner that would not worsen indoor air quality conditions.

D. Notify Occupants of Importance of Effectively Using Air Filtration System. The applicant shall notify future shelter occupants during intake that maintaining closed windows and doors during the air filtration system operation would yield optimum indoor air quality, specifically during hours of operation at the transfer station or other hours if air quality is determined to be below standards. This notification shall also be posted throughout the project site.

G:/Projects by Address\Harrison\#02-10000017\NOD 711 Harrison Street

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