For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Zach Cowan, Assistant City Attorney, (510) 981-6950
COURT REJECTS FRIBERG LAWSUIT
Berkeley, California (Tuesday, April 10, 2007) - Friberg lawsuit.pdf
On April 5, 2007, Judge Jo-Lynne Lee of the Alameda County Superior Court rejected a lawsuit challenging the landmark settlement agreement between the City of Berkeley and the University of California, Berkeley, over the University’s 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP).
The City had originally challenged the LRDP in court, but ultimately settled the case. As part of the settlement, the University agreed to make significant additional mitigation payments for City services and infrastructure. More notably, the City and University agreed to a joint planning process for the downtown area in order to try to accommodate planned new University development in a way that respects the City’s interests as much as possible.
Four individuals challenged the settlement agreement and the downtown planning process on various grounds. Their major claims were that: (1) the City should have prepared an environmental impact report on the settlement agreement because it determined future planning in the downtown area; (2) the settlement agreement improperly delegated the City’s authority over downtown planning to the University; and (3) the City violated the Public Records Act in connection with the settlement.
The Court dismissed the first of these challenges in 2006 on the ground that it was premature, since no new plan had been adopted. On April 5th of this year, the Court rejected the remaining challenges, holding that the settlement agreement merely called for a cooperative planning process and did not delegate any authority, and that the City did not violate the Public Records Act by withholding privileged documents.
The Court’s order has been posted on the City’s website, www.cityofberkeley.info/news/. The case number is Alameda County Superior Court No. RG 05230715. For further questions contact Zach Cowan, Assistant City Attorney, 981-6950.