Commons Room

The Commons Room, located on the ground floor on the west side of Building 9, is a room for all homeowners and Qualified Users (per the CC&Rs) to use on a first-come, first-served basis. It has a small sink and microwave, a piano, a large barrel-like container used to hold ice for cooling drinks, a few folding tables, and more than 75 chairs. (Several more folding eight-foot tables are stored in the UT toolshed next to the Tot Lot, along with more chairs on a rolling dolly. Ask the Common Area Scheduler for a key.)

HOURS of USE: 9 am to 10 pm


You can reserve the Commons Room and the Picnic Area/BBQ separately or together. Reserving the Commons Room will allow you access to the Commons Room, bathrooms and the paved area in front of the Commons Room. Reserving the picnic area/barbecue will allow access to the lawn, from the sidewalk at the parking area to the big palm tree in the middle of the lawn as well as access to the bathrooms (you must obtain a key). NOTE: If there are two different events simultaneously, you’ll have to work with one another to coordinate use.

There are rules, which have been approved by the Board, for renting and using the Commons Room.

The key thing is to contact the Commons Area Scheduler Susan Storch, and Melanie Lawrence (back-up). Before contacting them, check the Commons Room calendar (below in grey) to see if the Commons room when you would like to use it and the BBQ/Picnic Area calendar (shows in green) to see if that area is available.
Note. You cannot edit this calendar; only the Schedulers can. This is a convenient way to check availability.

  1. The Commons Area Scheduler takes reservations on a first-come, first-served basis. The University Terrace (UT) resident responsible for the activity must contact the Scheduler to make the reservation at least two days in advance. The Scheduler takes down:
    1. Area being reserved (Commons room, picnic area/barbecue, or both)
    2. Date and time of activity (including set up and clean up time)
    3. Type of activity and approximate number of people
    4. Any equipment that will be used
  2. If an activity will encompass more of the grounds than the Commons Room and the immediate barbecue/picnic area, or if the noise level is expected to reach levels louder than normal conversations, the resident responsible for the activity must notify the UT Community one week in advance, announcing the date, time and type of activity and any impact it may have on residents (such as live music, a tent to be set up, etc.). This notice may be sent to the UT HOA listserv at <> or posted on each mailbox kiosk and both Building 9 doors.
  3. If an activity has a significant possibility of exposing the University Terrace Homeowners Association (UTHOA) to liability (for example, a gymnastics competition), the Commons Committee may refuse permission for the activity. If permission for such an activity is granted, the UT resident responsible for the activity must:
    1. Obtain a rider on his/her homeowner’s insurance policy covering the activity and naming the University Terrace Berkeley Homeowners Association as an additional insured. If the responsible resident does not carry homeowner’s insurance, then he/she must purchase a one-time event policy naming the Association as an additional insured.
    2. Provide the Commons Committee with a letter from the insurance company confirming the rider or one-time policy.
    3. Sign a Permit for Facility Use, to be issued by the Commons Committee (contact the Scheduler).
  4. No loud music is allowed and any requests to turn down the volume must be respected.
  5. No vehicles or rigid structures (such as platforms or dance floors) are allowed on the grass.
  6. No regular music lessons are allowed in the Commons Room, but occasional practice sessions are allowed.
  7. No smoking is allowed in the Commons Room
  8. There is a 10pm curfew on weeknights (Sunday – Thursday) and a 10pm curfew on weekend nights (Friday and Saturday). Once sound baffling is installed in the Commons Room, the 11pm curfew on weekends will resume.
  9. At the conclusion of an activity, please follow these cleaning guidelines
    • Wash all the glasses and any other dishes and receptacles used at the event. Use towels provided to also dry and put away everything right away. If the towels become wet/dirty/disgusting, 1) consider taking them home and washing them; and 2) please come back the next day and put the dishes away after they have air dried
    • Clean up and wipe down the area around the sink.
    • Do not leave any alcohol in the Commons Room after an event. Please distribute it to adults.
    • Wash down the carts and cutting boards and tables. There are sponges and dish soap for this purpose. Please rinse afterward if soap is used. We try to keep sponges and other cleaning materials under the sink.
    • Bring along a paper bag or two for recycling and any trash, and dispose of them after you leave.
    • Before leaving, take a walk around the room to see if anything unusual has happened. Look for hidden messes like dirty plates, baskets, smeared cake, spilled juice or wine, and handle them. Some will not be so hidden. Handle those too.
    • Check the bathrooms to make sure that everything is at least flushed, the lights are out, and there are no lost children.
    • Replace furniture if you have rearranged it for some special purpose.
    • Sweep or vacuum the floor.
    • Make sure all lights are turned off before you leave and that all three doors are securely locked.
  10. Garbage is to be discarded in the dumpster located northwest of Building 9, inside the fenced enclosure. There are also recycling bins for cans, tins, glass, plastics, and clean mixed paper. Compostable materials, including greasy paper products, should be put in the large green compost bin marked “Plant Debris” just outside the fenced enclosure.
  11. The Commons Room Committee recommends using the charcoal starter (metal cylinder under the sink) to light coals for the grill. A wire brush is also located under the sink for scrubbing the grill.
  12. First-time users of the Commons must sign the Use of the Commons form (see below), and obtain a numbered key from the Scheduler. For repeat reservations, the resident simply fills out the reservation form after checking with the Scheduler. The resident is then responsible for reporting existing damage to the Scheduler prior to the activity.
  13. After the event, the key should be returned within 24 hours to the Scheduler, who will inspect the room for damage and cleanliness. If there is damage or extra cleaning required, the homeowner will be charged. If the key is lost, there will be an immediate charge of $75 to the homeowner’s account.
  14. Use of the Commons Room for ongoing activities (such as weekly classes or book clubs) will be negotiated by the Commons Committee on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the Board.
    1. The resident responsible for the program must sign the Permit for Facility Use issued by the Commons Committee (contact the Scheduler).
    2. Permits for such use will be issued for no longer than six months, but programs may continue unless the Permit is specifically abrogated.
    3. Preference will be given to programs that involve the greatest number of UT residents.
    4. If there is a significant possibility of injury to participants in the program, participants will also be asked to sign waivers (see the Scheduler). The resident responsible for the activity must provide the Commons Committee with signed waivers after each participant’s first session in order for that participant to be allowed to attend subsequent sessions.
    5. No admission fees for such programs may be charged to pay instructors or facilitators.