SOUTHSIDE NEIGHBORHOOD CONSORTIUM
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 We would all better served if the NOP were withdrawn until we are past the State of Emergency.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.
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