City Council hopefuls in Berkeley are making an issue of downtown development, and their solutions are as diverse, feel-good and pricey as a Cafe Gratitude menu. Taller buildings, affordable housing and roundabouts -- or more police patrols, less density and neighborhood crime-watch meetings? One thing's for sure: there's a lot of passion on Shattuck. With a handful of big projects already on the docket, from the Trader Joe's to high-rise condos and hotels, it seems like downtown's on the up-and-up. So why all the angst? As one Berkeley Community College prof put it: "A lot of old radicals have become pretty moderate. The emotion is still there, but these days it's more about local issues." Unfortunately for them, that emotion might be -- surprise! -- a wee bit misplaced. Berkeley Planning Director Dan Marks says the department hasn't seen such hard times since the 1920s as developers are sitting tight through this whole recession thing.
· Downtown top issue in Berkeley council races [SF Gate]
· Development Wanes in Wake of Economic Woes [Berkeley Daily Planet]
· Development Watch: Berkeley Gets High as Hell [Curbed SF]