Judge Barbara Miller Reaffirms Original Athletic Center Ruling

University Agrees Not To Begin Construction Until Appellate Court Gives the Go-Ahead

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In a brief, three-line ruling issued yesterday, the judge in the lawsuits surrounding proposed development near Memorial Stadium reaffirmed her original ruling.

Issued in July, the original ruling was a clear win for the UC Berkeley campus, which has been seeking to build a new athletic center near Memorial Stadium since December 2006.

Three groups-including the city of Berkeley-objected to those plans and sued the university soon after the university approved the construction plans.

After the July ruling, the two other plaintiffs in the case-the Panoramic Hill Association and the California Oak Foundation-attempted to appeal Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller's ruling.

However, the three-judge appellate court panel said they could not consider the case because Miller had not appropriately finalized the July ruling.

Now that Miller has finalized the ruling, both the association and the foundation say they will appeal. The city is still considering if it will appeal the decision.

In what UC Berkeley officials say is an effort to actually speed construction, the campus agreed to not begin construction until the appellate court decides if the campus can do so.

If Miller had extended the injunction, an automatic 20-day injunction would have applied. Campus officials are hoping that the appellate court will grant them the right to begin construction before that time.

"Time is of the essence. Every additional day of delay will cost the university approximately $40,000, not to mention the additional time our student athletes will be forced to tolerate entirely sub-standard conditions," said Dan Mogulof, the campus's executive director of public affairs, in a statement.

While an appeal could last for more than 10 months, the campus hopes that the appellate judges will not also issue an injunction and prevent construction during that time.

But Mike Kelly, president of the Panoramic Hill Association, said that even if the appeals court doesn't issue an injunction, the court would eventually find the proposed center could not be built and construction would stop.

"It is important to remember that if the university goes ahead with construction, they do so at their own risk," he said.


Will Kane is the city news editor. Contact him at [email protected]

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