Monday, January 29, 2007

SF Chronicle: Judge issues preliminary injunction to stop UC stadium plan

(01-29) 10:46 PST BERKELEY -- A judge this morning granted a preliminary injunction stopping UC Berkeley's plans to build a training center next to Memorial Stadium, handing at least a temporary victory to a group of environmentalists who have been camping for weeks in old oak trees that would have to be cut down for the development.  In the four-page ruling, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller said the plaintiffs -- the city of Berkeley, Panoramic Hill Association and California Oak Foundation -- made a sufficient case that the project violates the Alquist-Priolo Act, a state law prohibiting new buildings on earthquake faults.  Despite today's ruling, a half-dozen protesters roosting in an oak grove next to Memorial Stadium said they will not be coming down for at least another several months, when a trial will decide the fate of the proposed training center.

Zachary Runningwolf, who has been living in a redwood tree on and off since Dec. 2, choked up this morning when discussing the judge's decision.  "I'm very emotional," he said via cell phone from his perch in the tree. "It's been a long road -- 59 days. But we're going to keep the pressure on. The lawsuits have helped, but we feel that we've been the pressure in this movement."  The Hayward Fault runs under the 84-year-old stadium.  UC drilling found no fault traces under most of the proposed training center, but two of the drilling tests were inconclusive.  The injunction means that UC cannot begin work on the project until after the trial, if at all. The trial likely would begin in early summer.  The delay pushes back the construction schedule at least a year, due to conflicts with the football schedule, costing UC $8 million to $10 million due to rising construction costs.


Cal Football Radical said...

I really cannot believe this. I guess I always knew that this was what was going to happen, but to hear it officially is devastating. I am so t'd off, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Those grungy tree sitters win again, DAMN THEM!

Anonymous said...

Yeah well,

Judges do not hand down rulings because of hippies in trees. Judges hand down rulings because of analysis of laws.

I'd stop worry about the trees and start worrying about the Hayward Fault.

Legally this has very little to do with the trees.

Cal Football Radical said...

Yeah well, the area where the athletic center WAS going to be built was not on an active fault.

And yeah well, the student and staff are still going to be stuck in the old facilities so the status quo wins again. They may die now, what do you have to say about that?

And oh, yeah well, anywhere you build in the bay area is going to be at risk for a quake.

So yeah, think about that.

Anonymous said...

Plan 1 - Seriously Cal Fans en masse should organize, grab some chain saws and head up to the venerated grove of oaks in the middle of the night and start cutting down the trees. Yes, you will be stopped at some point and probably arrested, but hey, once you’ve desecrated and damaged the oak grove beyond repair, there will be absolutely no reason to stop the project. The tree huggers will be spinning their wheels.

To celebrate, run the remains of the trees thru a wood-chipper and donate the sacks of mulch to the universities landscape dept.

Go FootbalL!!!