Walter H. Ratcliff Landmark
Designation Appeal

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Appeal
City Report Dec 17, 2002

Appeal of the Landmarks Designation for 1326 Allston Way, Berkeley
L A Wood

Re: Item 19, Landmarks designation appeal for 1326 Allston Way, Berkeley


Dear City Council:

I want to express my dismay at the city council’s actions on December 17th to allow a public hearing on the landmark application for the city property at 1326 Allston Way after 11:15 PM. This is an absolute distortion of the legal hearing process. Moreover, this is particularly egregious given the City of Berkeley is also the owner/developer of the property.

It was troubling to witness the numerous misrepresentations by city staff regarding the application and the consequent Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) decision, especially since I, as the applicant, was denied any opportunity for rebuttal to their presentation.

It should be noted that no one from the LPC was present to respond to city council questions. At the LPC meeting last night, all the commissioners, including the LPC Chair, stated that they were not notified of the city council hearing and Landmarks appeal of December 17, 2002 by staff. This appears to be another calculated action by city staff to further limit discussion and any community opposition.

The city’s actions over the last several months have deliberately distorted the timing requirements for the Notice of Decision of this application. (See attachment.) This is seen in the attached Planning Department communication to Public Works director Rene Cardinaux, dated September 24, 2002. City staff illegally orchestrated a lengthy delay to allow extra time for several of the city’s departments to help Public Works strengthen its appeal. It is shameful that our legal staff allowed this to happen. The legal process only works when all are given equal consideration.

As the applicant to landmark the Corporation Yard at 1326 Allston Way, I request that the council not affirm any modifications to the original Notice of Decision, and that city council initiate a full investigation of this matter, including the above actions by the Planning, Zoning and Public Works staff.


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