10 October 2014

BAHA’s 40th Anniversary and Measure R

Photo: Daniella Thompson, 2009

Dear Members,

This year, BAHA is celebrating 40 years since its incorporation (invitations will be sent shortly).

Throughout BAHA’s four decades, we have been closely involved in preserving Berkeley’s historic downtown, which retains one of the few surviving Main Streets in California.

BAHA conducted the first Downtown Survey in the late 1970s. A few years later, we formed the Downtown Steering Committee with local merchants and city government. Out of that committee came the Downtown Design Guidelines, as well as the Downtown Berkeley Association.

In the mid-1980s, BAHA board members Susan Cerny and Arlene Silk drew up the Preservation Element for Berkeley’s Downtown Plan. In 1991, Berkeley joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street program. More recently, our members were closely involved in the long deliberations of the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC).

Which leads us to Measure R.

BAHA endorses Measure R for the same reasons that led us to oppose the 2010 Measure R.

The current Measure R offers the only avenue for rolling back some of the more harmful elements of the 2010 Measure R, including oversized development that offers no benefits to the community.

Major developers, who stand to be the principal beneficiaries if Measure R loses, are financing the No on R campaign, just as they financed the original Measure R four years ago. The current No on R campaign is as deceitful as the 2010 Yes on R campaign was. The much-ballyhooed “green vision” Berkeleyans voted for in 2010 has turned out to represent nothing more than the color of money that developers stand to reap from 18-story towers full of overpriced apartments.

We urge you to read the arguments for Measure R. It is also highly instructive to read what open-eyed BAHA members like Jacquelyn McCormick and Becky O’Malley have to say about this important issue.

Thank you for your attention.


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