Berkeley City Council will vote at a public hearing Tuesday on the fate of the proposed ice cream takeout restaurant Dream, to be located across the street from CREAM.
Following an appeal filed in February by Gus Shamieh, owner of CREAM, Berkeley city officials conducted an investigation into his claim that a takeout window would limit ADA accessibility.
According to Shamieh, the sidewalk where the takeout window is proposed to be located measures only 8 feet in width. Given Dream’s function as a takeout window, Shamieh claimed the narrowness of the sidewalk could clog and prohibit maneuverability in the area.
The city’s investigation found that the sidewalk did indeed measure 8 feet in width at its narrowest but 16 feet and 9 inches at its widest.
The investigation also revealed that the narrowest section of the sidewalk is caused by an electrical box, separated by 8 feet from a pillar of the project site.
“The project is going to be built where the sidewalk is at its smallest, so the location will still be a problem even if the sidewalk is larger than 8 feet in some places,” Shamieh said.
Ken Sarachan, who plans to open Dream within his pre-existing store Rasputin Music, could not be reached for comment on the recent findings.
The Zoning Adjustments Board unanimously approved the permit for Dream in September, but local businesses were not notified of the decision, according to Shamieh.
“There was a lack of due process for the application,” Shamieh said. “Businesses are required to be notified of the decisions of the zoning board.”
The public hearing surrounding the fate of Dream will go to a vote under the name of ZAB Appeal: 2401 Telegraph Ave., the intended site of the Dream restaurant.
At the hearing, City Council will conduct “quasi-judicial” proceedings at the Appeal, in which any member of the public can testify, according to Councilmember Gordon Wozniak.
The hearing will feature seven-minute presentations by both the appellant and applicant and an unlimited number of public speaker testimonies.
According to Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, City Council will have three options following Tuesday’s testimony: agree with the zoning board’s previous approval of the Dream permit, disapprove of the permit or approve of the permit with conditions.