The Berkeley City Council will meet Tuesday for a special meeting discussing the proposed fiscal year 2018-19 budget, in addition to a regular meeting to adopt a resolution regarding the proposed building at 2902 Adeline Street, 2908 Adeline Street and 1946 Russell Street.
According to the City of Berkeley Fiscal Years 2018 & 2019 Proposed Biennial Budget, the fiscal policies include focusing on “fiscal health of the City” by conducting multi-year planning, developing long-term plans to decrease unfunded liabilities, controlling labor costs while minimizing layoffs and requiring enterprise and grant funds to pay for themselves.
The proposed biennial budget also “provides a plan to control costs and maximize the use of City resources.” The plan does not require further General Fund expenditure or staff reductions. In fact, there will be a net increase of 36.81 full-time employees over the next two years, according to the proposal document.
The proposal also states that although the budget is balanced, deficits will grow over the years.
“Our proposed balancing measures are one-time, short-term solutions. While we are proposing a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019 … deficits are projected to continue to grow in the out years. General Fund deficits are projected to grow to $6.8 million in FY 2020, $8.9 million in FY 2021, and $10.9 million in FY 2022,” according to the proposal.
The Zoning Adjustments Board appeal recommends adopting a resolution to redevelop three parcels at 2902 Adeline Street, 2908 Adeline Street and 1946 Russell Street. These include “the demolition of one single-family dwelling and one mixed use (commercial and residential) structure; and the construction of a 6-story, mixed-use building with 4,119 sq. ft. of commercial space including one commercial unit, four live/work units, and 50 dwelling units, including two qualifying units available to very low income households and a commitment to provide two additional units on site available to low income households,” according to the city meeting agenda.
The City Council report on the Adeline Corridor Specific Plan says the Adeline Corridor — where the proposed building would be — is designated a “Priority Development Area” by the Association of Bay Area Governments, or ABAG, for its potential to accommodate housing and its close proximity to public transit. According to the report, the corridor plan is to create economic development and green infrastructure.
In 2014, the city of Berkeley was given a $750,000 Priority Development Area planning grant from the ABAG and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to create a plan for the South Shattuck and Adeline Priority Development Areas.
Concerns surrounding the Adeline Corridor have been that it will be another addition to gentrification in the Bay Area and that longtime residents will be displaced, as Adeline has historically been home to members of the Black community in Berkeley.
In January 2017, the city identified a consultant team that “demonstrated the expertise and a track record in developing long-range plans using an equity lens to inform the outreach and engagement process and the development of plan recommendations,” according to the report.
Funding for the Adeline Corridor Specific Plan contract is in this year’s budget.