Doug Herst, an environmentalist and longtime Berkeley businessman, wants to build an artists' colony in West Berkeley. The ultra-green development would feature 320 units of workforce housing, including about 50 affordable units for artists, next to green-tech businesses, light industrial companies, and artist studios. Known as Peerless Greens, named after Herst's former company Peerless Lighting, the community would also feature artisan shops, an urban garden, vertical gardens, and rooftop solar panels. Sounds fabulous, right? Not if you're one of Berkeley's infamous NIMBYs, who have been fighting Herst every step of the way. They adamantly oppose dense housing in West Berkeley, even though environmentalists agree that one of the best ways to fight climate change is to spur urban growth and curb suburban sprawl. But despite the fierce opposition, Herst, an art lover who is also on the board of Seacology, a Berkeley-based environmental group that works to protect marine areas around the world, is not giving up.
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