For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-7008

7-1-1 vote to continue lawsuit; hearings scheduled for Sept. 19-20

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, September 05, 2007) - In a closed hearing last night, the Berkeley City Council voted to reject the University of California’s supposed “settlement offer” in the lawsuit over the construction of a new athletic facility next to the seismically unsafe California Memorial Stadium. Almost 70 people spoke during the public comment period before the Council went into its closed session.

"We have received the proposal from the University and we find it unacceptable because it does not seriously address our concerns,” said Mayor Tom Bates after the Council meeting. “We will, therefore, move forward with the lawsuit.”

The lawsuit (City of Berkeley v. The Regents (RG06-301644), which is in Alameda County Superior Court, is an effort to keep the university building major addition to the stadium until it has determined whether it is feasible to make the stadium seismically safe.

The lawsuit also includes concerns related to a proposed parking garage, the destruction of a grove of oak trees, and the failure of the university to explore safer and less expensive sites, as required by law.

The settlement offer, received by the City on Tuesday morning, came seven months after a state-mandated settlement meeting and was largely limited to reiterating plans the university had already approved. The offer, as well as other court documents, can be viewed on the City’s website SAHPClawsuitpage.

There will be two days of hearings on September 19 and 20, 2007. The hearings will take place in Department 512 of the Alameda County Superior Court, 24405 Amador Street, in Hayward.