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City Council Member Aide Cited for Permit Violation

A Berkeley City Council member aide and Zoning Adjustments Board commissioner was cited Monday for beginning construction on his West Berkeley home without the proper permits.

The Building and Safety division of the Berkeley Planning and Development Department issued a citation to Ryan Lau, an aide to Councilmember Darryl Moore, for "work without permit" and "work concealed without inspection" for the back structure on his property at 1436 Carleton St., which appears to be in preliminary stages of renovation.

Lau and Moore could not be reached for comment Monday.

The citation calls for corrective action and orders Lau to stop all construction work immediately and file a building permit application within 15 days, among other requirements.

"First, you get the permit," said Joan MacQuarrie, a building and safety manager for the division. "Then you do the work."

Berkeley residents looking to renovate must obtain a use permit by turning in their overall construction plan for approval, according to MacQuarrie. They then must submit detailed plans about the building's construction in order to obtain the permit.

Fred Dodsworth, who authored an op-ed in the Berkeley Daily Planet raising concerns regarding the construction on Wednesday, said in an interview that he thinks Moore should be fired for "violating public trust."

"This is not a mistake," he said. "The city of Berkeley has a culture of corruption that is evasive."

Lau admitted fault in an article published Friday in The Contra Costa Times, in which he said he would halt work until he obtained proper permission.

-Hailey Parish


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