Le Chateau Will Challenge Nuisance Ruling By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday April 05, 2005

The University Students Cooperative Association voted last week to appeal a small claims judgment won by neighbors of the student co-op, Le Chateau. 

The appeal will be heard in Alameda County State Court. Last month, commissioner John Rantzman awarded 15 neighbors a total of $63,250 in damages for, among other things, “The loss of the right to quiet enjoyment.” 

On the same night as the board vote, Berkeley police cited the co-op for excessive noise during a party. Since it was the second such citation within 60 days, police issued a citation that calls for a $500 fine, Officer Steve Rego said. 

Meanwhile, at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday) the USCA is holding a town hall meeting at the International House to discuss neighborhood concerns regarding student cooperatives. 

“I don’t think anyone can argue that there are problems between Le Chateau and its neighbors,” Proper said. “The verdict doesn’t solve the problems. This meeting gives us a chance to get people talking to remedy the situation.” 

Proper said he didn’t know of problems with neighbors at any of the association’s 19 other cooperatives. 

George Lewinsky, the lead plaintiff in the Le Chateau case, said he would not attend the town hall meeting now that the USCA was appealing the verdict. 

“I’ve had 15 years of meetings and I see no point in having another one until the USCA lives up to the court decision,” he said. “Until they give us indication that they plan to change management of Le Chateau, this is pointless.”