Four-Year Legal Battle Over Stadium Ends in Settlement

Campus Agrees to Pay $75,000 in Legal Costs, Limit Loud Activity in New Athletic Stadium





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Details of a settlement agreement between UC Berkeley and the Panoramic Hill Association are to be released to the public today, concluding a nearly four-year legal battle between the two parties over the controversial renovation of Memorial Stadium and construction of the Student-Athlete High Performance Center.

The out-of-court settlement, filed Mar. 26 in the Alameda County Superior Court, includes monetary compensation to the association for attorney fees, as well as provisions to alleviate concerns surrounding the use of the stadium for non-athletic events and the resulting disturbance to residents living nearby.

The California Oaks Foundation, another party that had initiated the suit, is not a part of the settlement.

The campus will pay about $75,000 in attorney fees to the association, an amount roughly equivalent to what could have been awarded in court, according to a statement issued to The Daily Californian by the campus.

The agreement prohibits amplified music concerts and NFL games at the stadium and caps the number of capacity events, or programs attended by more than 10,000 spectators, not including UC Berkeley football games or graduation events. The agreement still allows the campus to propose additional capacity events for "rare

opportunities."

Other provisions require ongoing collaboration between the campus and the association on projects such as reducing glare from stadium lights into the surrounding neighborhood and reducing noise levels during stadium events.

"Beyond the welcome resolution of legal and operational issues that have created friction in the relationship with some of our closest neighbors, we believe that this agreement shows the extent of our commitment to building the best possible ties with the communities that surround the campus," said Chancellor Robert Birgeneau in the statement.

The association, the city of Berkeley and the Oaks Foundation filed a lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents in 2006, taking issue with the plan to continue construction on top of the Hayward Fault. After an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the UC in 2008, the neighborhood association and the foundation filed an appeal.

Under the terms of the agreement, future stadium-related litigation cannot be filed by the association unless construction and additional events unrelated to campus athletics are found to be inconsistent with current environmental documents filed by the campus.

"This is a step in the right direction," said the association's president, Michael Kelly, in regard to the settlement. "This agreement is only a starting point because now we have established a dialogue, but impacts with regards to the stadium project are an ongoing issue."

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Contact Katie Nelson at [email protected]



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