Why we want more neighbors

Stories shared by the hundreds of people who signed the North Berkeley Now! petition.

"The North Berkeley parking lot is the perfect site for critically needed housing right atop transit, and a continuation of the Ohlone Greenway. Berkeley can be a leader in addressing the housing crisis, climate change and equity by moving this initiative forward NOW!"

-Anne T.

"I wholeheartedly support efforts to add as much housing as possible in the North Berkeley BART space. The reason I say this is the axiom that allowing housing developments to go higher and become more dense leads to developments where the building cost per unit can be less, and thus more affordable."

-Barry F.

"Providing housing (both market rate and affordable) shows that we live by our values, and believe in positive change in our neighborhood! I park at the North Berkeley BART lot almost every work day, but am happy to walk/bike if it means we've created more housing and can welcome new neighbors."

-Jeffrey T.

"Berkeley desperately needs more affordable housing and more bike and pedestrian friendly neighborhoods. Crossing Sacramento on Virginia should be made a lot safer for pedestrians and bikers, and will have to be if the Bart station becomes a neighborhood."

-Christopher M.

"Our family is so grateful to be raising our three kids in Berkeley, but we are that it is becoming unsustainable to live. We would love to put down real roots here, but it is possible that we may never be able to purchase a home. We also agree that diversity is a strength of Berkeley, but it is becoming a value that seems increasingly untenable to live out. For all these reasons and more we support this initiative to build 1000 homes in our neighborhood."

-Leah M.

"I’m a middle aged graduate of Berkeley schools, and it’s awful how few of my classmates can afford to live here, how many of their families have been displaced, and how hard it is for teachers. We need to address this with every means possible - rent control, new subsidized housing, and new market rate housing."

-Theo P.

"I believe that climate change represents an existential threat to humanity and a necessary part of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is allowing more people to live near high-quality transit. "

-Warren W.

"I work in Berkeley and I want to have deeper community with my other co-workers who also live in Berkeley as well, but the cost of housing is detrimental to building community. Affordable housing at North Berkeley BART would allow for me to live closer to work and to build more community."

-Liat Z.

"What a fantastic place for more housing!"

-Michael H.

"We are in the middle of a housing crisis and transit oriented density should be our priority!"

-Mary T.

"Let's put people, not cars, in this wonderful, central location!"

-Liza L.

"I support building more housing in Berkeley, especially near transit routes and BART. So what could be better than right at a BART station!"

-Stephanie A.

"It’s too expensive to live here. I grew up in the Bay Area and many friends and family have left due to high prices. Only by actually building housing will the costs go down."

-Lindsay B.

"My partner is a PhD student at Berkeley, and I commute to San Francisco via North Berkeley BART for my job in the government. We love Berkeley, but we are not sure if we can find a permanent place to live for the long-term. Building houses is investing in the long-term community!"

-Jenna F.

"The more affordable housing, the more diversity and sustainability (environmentally, financially, quality of life wise) we'll maintain in Berkeley, where we've already displaced so many residents due to market pressures."

-Frieda H.

"I am a homeowner and use North Berkeley station regularly, and want it to reflect the values of Berkeley by providing environmentally friendly housing for those who increasingly cannot afford to live in the Bay Area."

-Adam A.

Berkeley claims to be a beacon of inclusive progressivism, but the NIMBYism that limits the development of new housing makes Berkeley unwelcoming and regressive. The unaffordability of housing is primarily caused by a self-imposed housing shortage. We need to be building more housing everywhere, of all sizes – we need more houses, more ADUs, more apartment buildings, and even tiny homes. We need to reconsider the zoning and permitting laws that are more about keeping the less-wealthy out of town than about real safety. We need to allow homeowners to turn their garages into living spaces if they want to do so. We need better public transit to enable sustainable population and economic growth with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead of clinging to nostalgia for the less-populated Berkeley of the past, we should say Yes to a more inclusive, sustainable, and affordable community which will still be vibrant and welcoming decades in the future.

-Ben B.

"I support building more housing near transit throughout the Bay Area. The North Berkeley BART parking lot provides a great opportunity to reverse the historic damage to the neighborhood of removing housing to build a parking lot (along with good transit, ala BART), and building an even better neighborhood."

-Valerie K.

"The areas around all BART stations should be built up. It's how you leverage the multi-billion dollar investments we've made in this system. Everyone acknowledges we have extreme problems with gridlock and high rents, the solution is to densify our cities around transit hubs. There is no good reason from a society-level perspective to put low-density housing around a major transit station. The housing crisis has a simple solution: build more housing. The transit crisis also has a simple solution: build that housing around transit hubs."

-Stephan O.

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