Abusive CEQA Lawsuit Threatens UC Berkeley Admissions

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Thousands of prospective UC Berkeley students would be denied admission next year under a misguided and disastrous court ruling in a case that highlights how broken California’s signature environmental law is and how anti-growth activists (i.e. NIMBYs) manipulate it to block new housing and other developments. The Bay Area Council stands firmly with UC Berkeley in decrying the court ruling which said the university’s plans to increase enrollment run afoul of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Council is supporting the University of California’s request that the state Supreme Court issue an emergency stay of the lower court ruling and avoid more than 3,000 students being denied admission this coming fall. Today (Feb. 18), we submitted an amicus brief in support of the university. The Council is also working with our Bay Area legislative caucus on a possible emergency legislative fix, although the legislature has consistently failed to reform CEQA despite a long history of abuse.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin this week joined Berkeley City Council members Lori Droste and Rigel Robinson in penning a commentary in the LA Times imploring the Supreme Court to act.

“As the University of California’s flagship campus and one of the nation’s premier public universities, UC Berkeley has a duty to grow to meet the needs of each new generation. As city leaders, we embrace that principle and have worked with the university administration to foster a symbiotic relationship that meets the needs of the campus and the broader Berkeley community… when fewer of our children are able to pursue higher education, we all lose out — our cities, our local businesses and the future of California.

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