Will The Auto Mall Come To Berkeley?

<p>The City of Berkeley, California, is considering changing is long-held policy against auto malls within city limits.</p>
August 9, 2007, 10am PDT | Nate Berg
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"After decades of shunning cars by using flower-planter roadblocks, anti-global-warming policies and alternative-transportation strategies, the city is considering rezoning two areas in West Berkeley to allow car dealerships. The change would allow dealers that currently have cramped, relatively inaccessible showrooms downtown to relocate closer to the freeway and double the size of their lots."

"'If we want to keep auto dealers in Berkeley, we have to give them space to relocate,' said Dave Fogarty of the city's economic development office."

"The Planning Commission will consider the zoning changes at its Sept. 5 meeting. The city currently has no land zoned for auto dealers. The existing dealers have grandfathered exemptions."

"Berkeley's five auto dealers contribute about $1.2 million annually in sales tax revenue, about 10 percent of the city's sales tax income."

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Published on Wednesday, August 8, 2007 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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