City Council to discuss Planning and Development Department, land proposal appeals

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Berkeley City Council will hold two special meetings Tuesday that will address the status of the Planning and Development Department and and will allow council members to discuss citizen appeals to land proposals.

Both meetings will discuss proposals brought forward by the recently appointed head of the Berkeley Planning Department Carol Johnson. In the first meeting, the council will discuss a report submitted by Johnson on the key initiatives and accomplishments of the Berkeley Planning and Development Department, while the second meeting will address appeals to proposals for a landmark and a wireless communications center, also submitted by Johnson.

At the first meeting, Johnson will discuss the hiring process of an outside consultant team for the Planning and Development Department.

“(The consultant team) will help shape the community input received to date into visions that address key themes, which will ultimately form the basis for draft policies, strategies and design ideas for a long-range plan,” according to the agenda memo for the item.

The department will present its consultant selection to the council Dec. 13.

The second meeting was scheduled as a special meeting in order to prioritize zoning appeals that are typically addressed at the end of regular meetings, said Councilmember Kriss Worthington. Worthington added that this structure requires interested parties to wait through the lengthy meetings.

“Only the people affected by it will have to sit through this,” Worthington said. “I think it’s beautiful that the mayor has scheduled it for a separate meeting.”

The meetings will be held at City Hall.

Contact Audrey McNamara at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @McNamaraAud.