UC Berkeley construction at People’s Park started, stopped

By Supriya Yelimeli, Berkeleyside, August 5, 2022

“Two eventful days after UC Berkeley attempted to begin construction on a controversial student housing project at People’s Park, a state appellate court approved a stay order halting all construction and changes until October.

“Judge Teri Jackson signed the stay order [August 5] to allow the court to review an appeal petition by Make UC a Good Neighbor and the People’s Park Historic Advocacy Group on their original California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit.

“It’s another development in a court case by the plaintiffs, who appealed the case (again) after an Alameda County judge shot down their argument on July 29.” [See below]

Judge: UC Berkeley can clear People’s Park for housing

By Jessica Garrison and Stuart Leavenworth, LA Times, July 29, 2022

“Alameda County Judge Judge Frank Roesch … ruled that UC Berkeley can begin clearing the historic park and starting site work because the university’s plan does not violate the California Environmental Quality Act.

“UC Berkeley and the city of Berkeley proposed redeveloping the park in 2018, calling it a first-in-the-nation plan to build long-term supportive housing for homeless people on university land. The university would also build 1,100 units of … student housing and retain some of the park[.]

“But two organizations — the People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group and Make UC a Good Neighbor — jointly filed a lawsuit, arguing, among other things, that the university… had not adequately studied [alternative projects], as required by state law. 

“City and university officials have hailed the plan as a model for other universities and a landmark solution to both California’s homeless crisis and the housing shortage at UC Berkeley and other UC campuses.

“But no one familiar with the park or its history thinks change will come easily.”

Read the Berkeleyside article here(~4 min.)

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