January 22, 2003
To: Planning Commission
From: Cliff Marchetti, Waterfront Manager
Subject: PROPOSED MARINA MASTER PLAN
That the Commission make a finding that the proposed Marina Master Plan is consistent with the 2002 General Plan, and forward any comments on the Marina Master Plan to the Waterfront Commission.
Since the Marina Master Plan does not propose to revise the land uses permitted in the 2002 General Plan, the City Attorney’s office has advised there is no need to adopt the Marina Plan as an amendment to the General Plan. The proposed Plan responds to the direction by the City Council on May 11, 1999 in which the Council stated its opposition to additional hotel and unrelated larger commercial development at the Marina. Adoption of this Plan will also satisfy the City Council’s directive stated in Resolution No. 54,919-N.S. (dated July 18, 1989) that suspends any private development on the Marina until such time as a Marina Master Plan is adopted by the City Council.
The purposes of the Marina Plan are to:
1) Identify permitted land uses;
2) Address the future viability of the Marina;
3) Identify capital needs, specific improvement projects, and desirable enhancements;
4) Provide for replacing and/or remodeling existing commercial facilities, including consideration for some expansion on a case-by-case basis, with no new hotel or larger unrelated development; and
5) Present a financial program that projects revenue and expenses (both operating and capital) over the next twenty years.
The Marina Plan is a planning tool that also examines the state of the physical infrastructure and includes a prioritized list of capital improvement projects that are necessary to maintain the facility as an attractive, safe, environmentally sensitive, and financially self-supporting community asset. The Plan is intended to help the community, City staff, Boards and Commissions, and the City Council decide land use issues, and prioritize public expenditures for the upkeep and improvement of the Marina.
The Marina Plan provides a framework for future improvement of facilities and for maintaining and enhancing the use of the Marina by the general public. The Plan also provides for some change to occur as user needs change and businesses adapt to meet those needs. Many existing public and private facilities are more than thirty years old and have reached the end of their maximum life expectancy. The Plan provides for replacement of these facilities within the context of maintaining the open space and natural elements that make the Marina a unique community asset.
PLANNING FRAMEWORK: RELATIONSHIP WITH CITY PLANS AND POLICIES
The Berkeley Waterfront Area is generally considered to be all lands within Berkeley city limits, west of Interstate 80. The Berkeley Marina, Cesar Chavez Park, and Eastshore State Park are all located within the Waterfront Area and each has a distinct planning document consistent with the other due to the close coordination between the respective agencies and their staff during the preparation of each.
Listed below are brief descriptions of the relevant City documents and policies.
1. Berkeley General Plan
The Berkeley General Plan applies to all property within the City, including the Berkeley Waterfront and Marina. Several General Plan policies and actions specifically relate to these areas:
Prepare and adopt a plan for the maintenance and improvement of the Berkeley Marina.
Establish a plan for maintaining the existing infrastructure at the Berkeley Marina, including maintenance and replacement of docks, piers, bulkheads, dry dock storage areas, restrooms, and utility systems (water, sewage, electricity, etc.) and dredging to maintain adequate marina water depth.
Establish a funding plan that prioritizes repair and maintenance of existing open space and recreational facilities.
Staff believes that the Marina Master Plan is consistent with and helps to implement General Plan policies and actions.
2. Berkeley Waterfront Specific Plan
The Berkeley Waterfront Specific Plan was adopted by Council on October 7, 1986 as a means of implementing the City’s 1977 General Plan. It was designed to be directly and completely consistent with the General Plan. The goals set forth in the Waterfront Specific Plan have been carried forward to the new Berkeley General Plan, adopted in 2002. The Waterfront Plan planning area includes all Berkeley lands west of Interstate 80, with the exception of the Marina, which is addressed in the Marina Master Plan. The Waterfront Plan does not include the Berkeley Marina and is not directly applicable to the Marina area; however, the Marina Master Plan is consistent with and complements the Waterfront Plan.
The Berkeley Waterfront Specific Plan "(e)ncourages sheltered water sports such as small boat launching and mooring (sailing, rowing, paddle, and sail-boating), with rentals to private organizations for necessary support facilities along the eastern shore of North Waterfront Park, provided environmental standards such as protecting of the Bay from leachate can be met and provided this use is consistent with the City's Master Plan for North Waterfront Park" (Section 3.8.1. p. 24).
Staff believes that the Waterfront Specific Plan and the Marina Master Plan are consistent.
3. North Waterfront Park (Cesar Chavez Park) Plan
The City adopted the North Waterfront Park Plan in 1979, when the area was still a landfill/recycling center. Objectives of the North Waterfront Park Plan include providing for local and recreational needs. Specific uses proposed for the Park include small boat sailing and North Basin boating, subject to future studies, as well as other active and passive recreational activities, a bird sanctuary and wildlife pond. The North Waterfront Park Plan identifies one location for possible future water access to the North Sailing Basin. The Marina Master Plan does not change approved uses in Cesar Chavez Park.
Staff believes that the Marina Master Plan is consistent with and complements the North Waterfront Park Plan.
4. Eastshore State Park General Plan (adopted Dec 2002)
Since February 2001, City Staff has been working with the Eastshore State Park (ESP) Planning Team to coordinate the planning efforts of the State with the City of Berkeley. Staff provided the State with copies of all relevant planning and policy documents and met numerous times to discuss potential issues. The ESP General Plan references the City’s policy documents, and notes that the City has actively supported and planned for the recreational use of its waterfront, which is consistent with the ESP General Plan. (See Attachment 1.)
For land in Berkeley, the Eastshore State Park General Plan proposes primarily open space and environmental uses, with the development of informal recreational opportunities. The ESP General Plan calls for the Berkeley Meadow to be a conservation area, with trails around its perimeter. The ESP General Plan acknowledges the proposed Bay Trail extension on the east side of Marina Boulevard, which is one of the features of the Marina Plan. The Eastshore State Park General Plan also calls for the possibility of visitor centers, interpretive centers, a youth hostel, a café/deli, equipment rental concessions, a boat launch facility with vehicular drop-off area, a boathouse, restrooms and landscaped parking areas.
Staff believes that the ESP General Plan is consistent with and supports existing City plans and policies.
5. City Council Directives re: Marina Master Plan
Berkeley City Council has taken several actions regarding development in the Marina and preparation of a Marina Master Plan, including the following:
· On July 7, 1987, the Berkeley City Council adopted Resolution No. 53,838-NS, which established a one-year moratorium on new development in the Marina.
· On July 12, 1988, the Council adopted Resolution No. 54,414-NS extending the moratorium for one year.
· On July 18, 1989, the Council adopted Resolution No. 54,919-NS extending the moratorium until a Marina Master Plan is adopted.
· On December 2, 1997, City Council allocated $250,000 from the Marina Fund reserves for a Master Plan for the Berkeley Marina.
· On May 11, 1999, the Council directed that no new hotel facilities or unrelated larger commercial development should occur in the Marina.
Staff believes that the Marina Master Plan is consistent with all of these directives.
The Environmental Initial Study for the Marina Master Plan also identifies the relationship between the Marina Master Plan and other City Plans and Policies. (See Attachment 2.)
1. Eastshore Park Project General Plan, pages II-40 – II-45.
2. Environmental Initial Study for the Berkeley Marina Master Plan, pages 17 - 22.