Berkeley Noise Pollution Precedent Blocks Los Angeles Housing

Opponents to a new university housing project cited a recent Berkeley case in which noise pollution was successfully used to deny an exemption from environmental review.

2 minute read

August 17, 2023, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Brick "USC University of Southenr California"  sign at entrance to campus

Hanson / Adobe Stock

An appellate court in Southern California used a legal precedent set in Berkeley to deny a request for an exemption from environmental review for a proposed housing project near the University of Southern California in downtown Los Angeles, reports Matt Brown in The Daily Californian. The new ruling “is focused on a proposed rooftop deck, which appellants worry will generate too much noise.” In Berkeley, opponents of a new student housing development relied on potential noise to gain a legal victory over the university in a contentious battle, forcing the university to deny admissions to thousands of potential students.

The city of Los Angeles originally granted the exemption for the infill project, which is proposed for a 2.8-acre lot less than a mile from the USC campus housing a building previously used by the university as offices. “The city intended to demolish the existing site and parking lot to make way for a seven-building residential apartment complex. Six of the buildings were planned to be four stories with a combined 100 five-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom apartments, and the seventh building was planned to be a four-story clubhouse with a variety of amenities for residents.”

More on the Berkeley story:

Correction: This article originally indicated that the project is a USC housing project and that lot in question is owned by the university. This is incorrect—USC previously used a building on the lot as offices, but is not involved with the proposed housing project.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023 in The Daily Californian

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