Mayor calls on UC Berkeley to do thorough evaluation of leap in scholar enrollment

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UC Berkeley must not be looking to consist of a jump in pupil enrollment within the supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) it’s miles preparing for a brand new instructional and housing complex on Hearst Avenue, Mayor Jesse Arreguín contends.
The bounce to 44,735 college students on campus by 2022-23 differs substantially from the 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) the university signed off on in 2005, and to which the town of Berkeley agreed, Arreguín wrote in a letter that he sent to Cal. So UC Berkeley must put together a separate record at the enrollment growth as a substitute use the SEIR at the Upper Hearst plan as a manner to replace its LRDP, he wrote.
“Increase in campus headcount by using eleven,285 college students and its influences were now not studied inside the 2020 LRDP and are, consequently, not ‘regular’ with the undertaking,” Arreguín wrote. The 2005 file said “the scholar population might grow by way of simplest 1,650 college students among the 2001/02 educational year after which stabilize at that range by 2010. Instead, the student population has accelerated by way of almost seven instances over that studied within the 2020 (file).”

 


But UC officers said that CEQA regulation requires the college to encompass the bumped-up enrollment figures in its examination of the Upper Hearst undertaking. They additionally contend that the impact of extended enrollment has been much less than what turned into anticipated inside the 2005 LRDP and that the university has absolutely reduced its effect on the metropolis in lots of methods, which include a discount in greenhouse gas emissions, strong waste, and water use.
“As , the campus has acquired pointers that it “sever the populace problem from the Upper Hearst Project EIR,” Dan Mogulof, a campus spokesman, wrote in an electronic mail, responding to questions from Berkeleyside. “However, CEQA requires that the campus examine the capability influences of a housing mission consisting of the Upper Hearst Project with present environmental conditions at the time the CEQA overview happens. Those environmental situations most honestly consist of the modern campus headcount. It is handiest by way of comparing the project with these baseline bodily conditions that the campus can decide whether an effect is great.”
The feedback by means of Arreguín have been submitted at some point of the general public enter method for the SEIR for the Upper Hearst Way challenge, which could add a new educational constructing for the Goldman School of Public Policy and a housing complex on Hearst Avenue and La Loma Avenue. The letter turned into additionally at the April 2 City Council agenda. The town of Berkeley is planning to post every other set of feedback, in step with Matthai Chakko, a city spokesman. The public comment duration closes on April 12.
Berkeley sued Cal in 2005 over its projected increase
In 2005, UC Berkeley prepared an LRDP that projected the university’s boom until 2020. Officials decided that the university would construct 2.2 million rectangular feet of latest area in that time. The college also projected there could be 33,450 students on campus through 2020.
The city of Berkeley sued the college over its LRDP in 2005, arguing that the plan did not sufficiently have a look at the affects of its building expansion at the metropolis. The two sides settled after UC Berkeley agreed to triple the amount it paid for town offerings, including fireplace safety and sewer use, from $500,000 a yr to $1.2 million a yr, adjusted 3% yearly for inflation. In 2018/2019, the college paid Berkeley $1,770,698, consistent with Mogulof. That covered $285,000 in payments from the Chancellor’s Fund.
Arreguín said in his letter that now that Cal’s pupil enrollment has increased seven instances extra than projected in 2005, UC should increase its payments. The SEIR does now not observe how improved enrollment will impact Berkeley’s fireplace and police departments, he said. (The SEIR does take a look at how the elevated enrollment influences services at the campus).

“It is time to have a look at renegotiating this settlement to require more contributions from the University,” the mayor wrote in a community publication.
Arreguín also questioned UC Berkeley’s potential to residence its growing variety of students, and stated that the SEIR examined the impact at the campus however did no longer take a look at how a bigger populace would affect the city. In the 2020 LRDP, the university stated it might construct 2,600 beds. It has most effective built 1,119 to this point, said Arreguín.
“This boom has real influences on our metropolis: damage to our roads, influences on our sewer device, congestion on our streets, noise and other satisfactory of lifestyles affects, and increasing demands on our Fire and Police Departments,” Arreguín wrote in a mayoral publication. “UC’s great enrollment growth and the impacts it has on our town desires to be safely mitigated.”
The mayor did now not respond to Berkeleyside’s attempts to talk to him extra about his proceedings.
UC Berkeley has introduced that it intends to construct 7,500 extra mattress for college students within the next decade.
Arreguín stated trying to wrap the scholar growth into the SEIR for the Upper Hearst assignment “could be destructive to our partnership going forward.”