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Berkeley, Calif., raises building height limits in downtown area

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Berkeley, Calif., raises building height limits in downtown area

Buildings up to 12 stories will be allowed near the University of California campus.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | December 18, 2023
Berkeley, Calif., raises height limits in downtown area - Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Wikipedia

Facing a severe housing shortage, the City of Berkeley, Calif., increased the height limits on residential buildings to 12 stories in the area close to the University of California campus.

Local officials unanimously approved the height increase, an action that will nearly double the neighborhood's development potential. As many as 2,650 new housing units could be constructed around the university campus.

Just 1,300 units have been completed in Berkeley over the past five years. Fewer than 725 units are now in the city's development pipeline, far below the amount needed to keep up with the more than 10% population gain since 2010.

The city's dire housing shortage, with the university providing housing for less than 25% of its students, has caused sharp increases in rents. Average rents in Berkeley are about $2,700 per month, but those near the university campus can fetch as much as 50% more than those near the city's borders.

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