City sues to halt campus growth
02 March 2005
Berkeley city officials made good last week on their threat to sue the UC Regents and the Berkeley campus, filing a court petition to block Berkeley's 2020 Long Range Development Plan until a more detailed analysis of the campus's future growth and its likely impacts on the city is provided.
In announcing the suit, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates repeated the claim that the 15-year plan, approved in January by the Board of Regents, amounts to a "blank check" for UC Berkeley's expansion. But campus officials noted the plan "does not preclude further environmental review of any specific project," adding that the final documents "reflect nearly two years of engagement with the campus community, the city of Berkeley, numerous state and local agencies, and the general public."
"The university is sympathetic to the financial challenges facing the city and, as a member of this community, the campus wants to enhance the city's neighborhoods," university officials said in a published response to the suit. "That is why the campus offered to increase significantly its direct payments to the city, earmarking funds for city services and neighborhood improvements." The statement also noted the changes made to the 15-year plan in an effort to address public comments.