UC Berkeley Press Release
City of Berkeley and UC Berkeley announce landmark agreement on campus's growth plan
BERKELEY – The University of California, Berkeley, and the City of Berkeley today (Wednesday, May 25) reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit over the campus's 2020 Long Range Development Plan.
The settlement is part of a landmark agreement that will provide for a joint planning process for revitalizing the city's downtown area and promote transit alternatives.
The agreement, which followed months of negotiations, was approved by campus officials and the Berkeley City Council last night and endorsed by the UC Regents this afternoon.
Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates said of the settlement, "This agreement ensures our community will have a real voice in future development by the university, provides funding for vital city services, and reinforces our commitment to reducing traffic congestion and improving transit alternatives. Today, we take a giant step forward towards a lasting and equal partnership between one of the world's great universities and one of its most livable and progressive cities."
"It has always been our goal to grow and develop in a manner that benefits both the campus and the greater community," said UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. "I am pleased that this agreement provides a plan for us to work in partnership with the city while also respecting our research and teaching mission."
The agreement calls for the city and university to work together to develop a Downtown Area Plan that would guide new university, private and other public development projects. When adopted by the city council, this new plan will guide the revitalization of the city's core, protect historic resources and encourage transit-friendly development, and accommodate the university's growth. University-owned land will always be the first option explored by UC Berkeley for both new program space and parking.
The settlement addresses parking and traffic concerns by reducing to 1,270 by the year 2015 the number of new parking spaces allowed without additional review under the Long Range Development Plan. Originally, 2,300 new spaces were proposed. This reduction is contingent upon the implementation by 2010 of a new AC Transit "rapid bus" system route on Telegraph Avenue and the city's consideration of a dedicated lane for a Bus Rapid Transit route. When building new parking structures downtown, the campus will prioritize locations for parking that will benefit both the campus and the community.
Under the agreement, UC Berkeley will allocate $1.2 million per year for sewer infrastructure, fire services, neighborhood improvements and joint transportation efforts - up from the approximately $500,000 currently provided each year. Payments will begin in July 2006 and continue through 2020. This allocation will be increased 3 percent each year as a cost of living adjustment.
In addition, the campus committed to exploring a Use Tax pilot program that, if feasible, may direct hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to the city.
Additional joint initiatives to be explored include a "First Source" hiring agreement for Berkeley residents, a local purchasing program to encourage the campus's purchase of local goods and services, an effort to establish an employee release time program for UC staff volunteers to work with at-risk youth in Berkeley, an effort to encourage spin-off businesses to locate in Berkeley, and an initiative to explore the development of public-private research facilities in the city.
UC Berkeley's $1.2 million allocation includes:
- $200,000 for sewer and storm drain infrastructure
- $600,000 for fire and emergency services
- $200,000 for joint UC Berkeley-City of Berkeley programs, studies and projects designed to address transportation concerns of motorists and pedestrians
- $200,000 for neighborhood improvement projects that benefit city neighborhoods. Project proposals will be solicited from community and neighborhood groups and reviewed by an advisory committee of UC Berkeley staff, community members and city representatives.
Under the agreement, the city will drop its efforts to seek additional parking and sewer fees from the campus.