Stadium Lawsuit Arguments Finish

By Richard Brenneman
Friday March 21, 2008

Lawyers for both sides in the legal battle over UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium projects got in their last licks in a Hayward courtroom Thursday afternoon. 

At issue is the legal challenge mounted by the city of Berkeley, neighbors and environmentalists over the approval by UC’s Board of Regents of projects in the southeast quadrant of the Berkeley campus. 

The most immediate concern—and the focus of legal arguments Thursday—was the question of whether a planned high-tech gym adjacent to the stadium’s western wall is a separate structure or a stadium addition. 

If Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara J. Miller determines that the Student Athlete High Performance Center is an addition to the landmarked stadium, it would trigger strict limits on the university’s expenditures on the project and on refurbishing the stadium itself. 

To build the Student Athlete High Performance Center, the university would have to ax the grove of trees west of the stadium, plans that sparked the ongoing tree-sit which is now in its 16th month and has led to dozens of arrests and a double layer of fencing around the site. 

After hearing final arguments Thursday, Judge Miller promised only that she would issue her ruling within the next 90 days.