Judge issues injunction
against UC Berkeley stadium plan
By Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News Service
January 27, 2007
A judge issued a preliminary injunction today stopping the construction
of a $125 million athletic training center and other facilities
near the University of California, Berkeley's football stadium.
The order by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller
keeps in force a stay that was issued on Dec. 22 and temporarily
prevented the university from going forward with the project.
Miller held a daylong hearing on the issue last Tuesday and her
ruling was made public today.
The UC Board of Regents Grounds and Building Committee voted
7-0 on Dec. 5 to approve the project, which calls for 451,000
square feet of new construction, including a sports training facility
and a four-story underground parking lot with more than 900 spaces.
It also calls for building new facilities for the university's
law and business schools.
A total of four plaintiffs have filed suit seeking to stop the
project on various grounds. Among the allegations is that the
project violates environmental laws and that it's unsafe to build
the facilities near a major earthquake fault, as the Hayward Fault
runs through the middle of Cal's Memorial Stadium.
Miller's hearing was on a consolidated preliminary injunction
request by three of the plaintiffs: the city of Berkeley, the
California Oaks Foundation and the Panoramic Hill Association,
which represents residents who live near the stadium.
A lawsuit filed by a fourth plaintiff, Save Tightwad Hill, a
group of Cal fans who watch games for free by sitting on a hill
100 feet above the stadium, is on a separate track.
That group has raised different legal issues than the other plaintiffs
because its primary objection to the university's plan is that
it calls for additional seats on the stadium's east side which
would raise the height by about one story and block their views.
University of California, Berkeley officials weren't immediately
available for comment on the ruling.
Stephen Volker, an attorney for the California Oak Foundation,
said the group will hold a news conference later today at a grove
of trees near Memorial Stadium where activists have been sitting
in trees since UC regents approved the project.
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