Suit Challenging LBNL Plans Gets Day in Court Tomorrow

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday May 20, 2008 - 05:00:00 PM

Foes of building plans included in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) get their day in court Wednesday. 

That’s when Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch has scheduled the hearing in the case of Jones et al. vs. the Regents of the University of California. 

The action pits Berkeley preservationists—including a Daily Planet editor—in yet another legal challenge to university-related building plans. [see www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2007-08-24/article/27856?status=301] 

At issue is the fate of land along the northern edge of Strawberry Canyon beneath the Department of Energy-sponsored lab’s 202-acre campus. 

UC Regents adopted the critical environmental review of the LRDP last July, which a Statement of Overriding Considerations that holds the impacts of the planned 980,000 square feet of new construction are offset by the need for new facilities and adopted mitigation measures. 

Litigants who are suing the university include Lesley Emmington, a former city landmarks commissioner, Save the Bay co-founder Sylvia McLaughlin, Panoramic Hill Association activist Janice Thomas, Hank Gehman and Anne Wagley, the Planet’s Arts and Calendar editor. 

Wagley is also the plaintiff in another lawsuit challenging settlement of a city lawsuit which had challenged the university’s Long Range Development Plan 2020 and its impacts on downtown Berkeley. [see www.berkeleydaily.org/issue/2006-12-15/article/25886] 

Alameda environmental attorney Michael Lozeau is representing the plaintiffs, while Michael H. Zischke of San Francisco is arguing on behalf of the regents. 

The case gets underway at 9 a.m. at the court’s Department 31, located in the post office building at 201 13th St. in Oakland.