BERKELEY — A city official who sits on Berkeley's Zoning Adjustments Board resigned from the panel Wednesday evening amid criticism over work he did at his home without permits.
Ryan Lau, who also is an aide to Berkeley City Councilman Darryl Moore and was appointed by Moore to the zoning board in January, sent Moore an e-mail explaining his decision, which was effective immediately.
"I apologize for any embarrassment that I may have caused to you and the city," Lau said. "I am in the process of working with the city's planning department to resolve this matter." Lau said he has stopped work on his Carleton Street home and is seeking the necessary zoning and building permits.
Lau said he tore down a crumbling garage at the house he bought in April and built a new one and added a room to it.
Moore last week said Lau is a good person who did the wrong thing.
"When I heard about this I was flabbergasted and disappointed," Moore said last week. "But I know Ryan is a good person and he'll do the right thing and make the situation right. I hope as a young man it's a hard lesson learned." Moore said the city permitting department has a policy of charging double for permits for already-completed construction.
Permits in Berkeley can cost 10 percent of the total construction value , "... and that's for people who don't get caught skirting the rules," Moore said.
Lau's lack of permits was first reported in the Berkeley Daily Planet by Berkeley resident Fred Dodsworth. Dodsworth said he was angry that he and his son have been issued notices of violations by the city at their homes.