BERKELEY (CBS SF / BCN) – An Alameda County Superior Court judge has ordered UC-Berkeley to freeze campus registrations at the 2020-21 level amid a dispute with neighbors over its expansion plans.
Judge Brad Seligman found that the increase in listings has affected neighboring homes, causing displacement and creating unacceptable noise. Seligman also found that the university had failed to consider a reduction in enrollment to improve surrounding neighborhoods.
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“The judge vindicated our efforts to hold UC Berkeley accountable for the serious impacts on our community of their massive increases in listings which they made without public notice or comment,” said Phil Bokovoy, president of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods.
Between 2010 and 2020, enrollment at UC Berkeley increased by approximately 18%, or approximately 6,500 to 42,327 students.
“UC Berkeley must now recognize these impacts and come up with mitigation measures that will make it a better neighbor,” he said.
Bokovoy’s group said more students are displacing low-income neighbors, increasing homelessness, placing an additional burden on first responders, and increasing waste and noise in neighboring communities.
“We strongly believe that UC should not increase enrollment until it creates accommodation for its new students,” Bokovoy added.
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UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the school had filed additional documents with the court to justify its plans.
“We are optimistic that we can file documents with the court very soon that will satisfy the judgment regarding future enrollment increases,” Mogulof said, “It will likely take the university between six and eight months to respond to the requests. requirements of judgment with respect to the Upper Hearst project.
The project will create new housing and academic space for the Goldman School of Public Policy.
“We are convinced that the court will finally allow us to continue with the project,” he said.
In a separate but related legal case, the city of Berkeley and the university recently agreed to a settlement of around $ 83 million regarding the university’s impact on the city.
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The university will donate millions each year to the city for the impact on utilities such as fires and the like and projects for residents near the university, Berkeley officials said last month when a agreement in principle has been reached. The UC regents then approved the deal.