Judge's Request May Delay Stadium Case

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The final ruling in the lawsuits over the proposed development near Memorial Stadium may be delayed until mid-March, hinging on whether a judge deems additional expert evidence is required.

On Dec. 10, Judge Barbara Miller found that the proposed athletic center could be subject to the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act of 1972, which bans construction near active earthquake faults.

To help determine if the proposed athletic center is a separate structure from Memorial Stadium, Miller requested that the plaintiffs and defendants submit expert architectural evidence.

Shortly after Miller issued her December order, the Panoramic Hill Association and California Oak Foundation-two of the three plaintiffs in the case-asked the judge to reconsider her request, claiming she was violating precedent set by the California Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs argue that information considered by the judge in the case can only be the administrative record that was submitted to and considered by the UC Board of Regents when it approved the plan last December.

They contend that that record did not have enough information and the regents were therefore unable to make an adequately informed decision.

Any additional expert evidence would not be part of that record.

If it is a separate structure, as campus officials claim, the act would not apply because the proposed center would be more than 50 feet away from the fault.

Plaintiffs say the proposed center is not a separate structure and will be in violation of the act.

Campus officials say Miller's request to submit further evidence would only make their case stronger.

"We knew we needed to have a separate building," said Dan Mogulof, the campus's executive director of public affairs. "We asked our architects to design a separate building."

Miller is expected to rule on the plaintiffs' request in the coming days. If she decides not to request further information, a final ruling in the case could be expected by mid-February.

Mike Kelly, a board member of the Panoramic Hill Association, said his group has already made contact with an architect to develop the evidence, but would not specify who had been contacted.


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

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