Latest News: Climate Expert Describes Measure R’s Many Flaws

Why Vote No On Measure R

Measure R is 28 pages of legally flawed, stringent anti-growth regulations that would kill Berkeley’s remarkable Downtown revival that has given us a more vibrant, cleaner and safer heart of the City.

The measure would:
  • Kill new housing and drive up rents. The found that Measure R would make buildings over 60 feet tall financially infeasible, thus eliminating an estimated 1,300 units in Downtown housing capacity and thereby exacerbating Berkeley’s critical housing shortage and pushing rents even higher. The needed Downtown hotel and office project for the Bank of America lot has been put on hold because of the initiative, and the developer of the largest planned project Downtown, the 302-unit Berkeley Plaza, says that the project cannot go forward if the initiative passes.
  • Increase greenhouse gases and harm the environment. The loss of housing caused by Measure R would disperse population, increase auto-caused pollution and undermine Berkeley's critical climate action strategy of increasing housing density near major transit hubs. This displacement translates into 225 million pounds of carbon emissions over 15 years, according to the Environmental Impact Report on the City’s Downtown Area Plan .
  • Shackle the city with cast-iron zoning. Measure R would impose extensive new zoning provisions that, unlike normal zoning codes subject to modification through public hearings and City Council action, could not be changed, except by the voters. Small details and – such as requiring public restrooms in the large private residential buildings and reducing City flexibility to create affordable housing where it’s most needed – could not be fixed without another expensive election.
  • Decrease revenue for City services and Berkeley schools. The City’s financial impact study of the initiative estimates that Measure R could reduce future City tax revenues by $1.3 million and Berkeley schools revenue by $1 million. Berkeley’s financial future, like that of many cities, is threatened by growing deficits and cuts in services because of rising pension costs and needed repairs to crumbling infrastructure.
  • Overturn the award-winning Downtown Area Plan and 2010 Measure R – The initiative would overturn, in one quick ballot, our green Downtown Area Plan, which codified the earlier, advisory Measure R (passed with 64% voter approval in 2010) to create environmentally friendly transit-oriented development near BART. The Downtown Plan was developed through six years of community participation involving more than 200 public meetings. This year, the Downtown Plan won a prestigious national honor, the “ Achievement Award for a Best Practice ” from the American Planning Association .
  • Waste City resources in litigation. The . Pivotal elements of the initiative could not be implemented, and the city could be tied up in prolonged and costly legal battles that would consume city staff time and waste our tax dollars.