Request to Janet Napolitano to withdraw Notice of Preparation dated April 7, 2020


10 April, 2020

President Janet Napolitano

Office of the President

University of California

1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor

Oakland, CA  94607

Re: Request to Withdraw Notice of Preparation dated April 7, 2020

Dear President Napolitano,

We are asking the University of California to withdraw the Notice of Preparation (NOP) for UC Berkeley’s next Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP), which was filed with the Office of Planning and Research by the Berkeley Campus on April 7, 2020.  The state of California is currently operating under a State of Emergency, and the Bay Area counties are under mandatory orders that permit only Essential Activities or Minimum Basic Operations.

The NOP will require numerous public agencies, local governments and community organizations to devote thousands of hours of time to respond—time diverted from essential life-saving activities—during the State of Emergency. The LRDP is a large, complex undertaking that requires many hours of work by many people and would require our public safety officials to spend hundreds of hours to review and comment. We would all better served if the NOP were withdrawn until we are past the State of Emergency.

Our requested postponement is only a matter of a few weeks, and we note that the two housing projects included in the NOP could move forward under the 2005 LRDP EIR if it were necessary.  UC has not used the capacity to build several hundred units provided in that programmatic EIR.

Chancellor Carol Christ’s decision to file the NOP and to move forward with a scoping session later this month is extremely ill-advised. It may violate both Governor Newsom’s executive orders and the local public health orders that allow only Essential Activities or Minimum Basic Operations.

Please help us all responsibly address the current State of Emergency and save lives by withdrawing the NOP.

We look forward to your prompt action on this matter.

Best regards,

Southside Neighborhood Consortium: 

Joan Barnett, President, Dwight-Hillside Neighborhood Association

George Beier,  President, Willard Neighborhood Association

Phil Bokovoy, President, Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods

Lesley Emmington, President, Make UC a Good Neighbor

Mike Kelly, President, Panoramic Hill Association

Mark Humbert, President, Claremont-Elmwood Neighborhood Association

Gianna Ranuzzi, President, Le Conte Neighborhood Association

Andrew Johnson, Bateman Neighborhood Association

Dean Metzger, President, Berkeley Neighborhoods Council

David Shiver, Stuart Street/Willard

Cc:       Governor Gavin Newsom

UC Regents Chair John Perez

Chancellor Carol Christ

Dr. Erica Pan, Alameda County

Dr. Lisa Hernandez, City of Berkeley