Judge Caps Enrollment at UC Berkeley Pending Environmental Impact Report

An Alameda County judge dealt a stunning rebuke of a plan to expand the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, with housing and new space for the Goodman School of Public Policy.

1 minute read

August 30, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Students passing through the historic Sather Gate on the University of California, Berkeley campus.

David A Litman / Shutterstock

"An Alameda County judge has ordered UC Berkeley to freeze its enrollment at 2020-21 levels going forward until the university redoes a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) for a complex on Hearst Avenue that includes housing and a new academic building for the Goldman School of Public Policy," reports Frances Dinkenspiel.

A month ago, "Judge Brad Seligman ruled that UC Berkeley abused its discretion when it failed to study the impacts of increasing its enrollment by 33.7%, or 11,285 students, from 2005 to 2020," explains Dinkenspiel.

"Seligman also ordered the UC Board of Regents to void its 2018 approval of the Upper Hearst project and to decertify the supplemental environmental impact report."

The university will now have to undertake a new environmental review process, with more attention to the effects of increased enrollment on noise, housing, and displacement.

Phil Bokovoy, the president of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods, says the ruling is a victory for Berkeley residents concerned about the growth of the University of Campus—and a victory for residents in other cities with campuses in the University of California  system.

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