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Best Best & Krieger Of Counsel Brandon Kline recently authored an article in the Daily Journal providing an overview of the California Supreme Court’s reversal of the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Make UC A Good Neighbor v. Regents of the University of California (2023) 88 Cal.App.5th 656, 665 (“Make UC”). Stemming from a dispute over UC Berkeley’s 2021 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) and Housing Project No. 2, the decision now allows the university to move forward with the controversial LRDP. This marks a pivotal moment for university campus development and the interpretation of “social noise” in the context of CEQA. The LRDP has a projected enrollment of 48,200 students and 19,000 faculty and staff by the 2036–2037 academic year.

Regarding the implications of the decision, Kline explains, “The Make UC decision has far-reaching implications for future campus development across California.” Kline adds, “By affirming the legislative amendments to CEQA, the Court has effectively removed a significant hurdle to the development of student and faculty housing. Public universities can move forward with campus housing projects without risking CEQA litigation over social noise, which some amici argued was best resolved through local code enforcement efforts. On the other hand, the Make UC case does not resolve questions about social noise impacts in non-residential projects.”

Subscribers to the Daily Journal can read the entire article published July 1, 2024 here.

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