UC Berkeley Offers to Scale Back Stadium

Sat September 08, 2007 - West Edition

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) The University of California, Berkeley’s offer to scale back plans for a $125 million sports training center has not satisfied opponents who argue the project could endanger public safety in an earthquake.

University officials announced they would reduce the number of parking spaces in a planned garage from more than 900 to approximately 500.

They also pledged to plant one mature tree along with two new young trees for each tree from an old oak grove chopped down to make way for the training center. Activists have roosted in the oaks for months to block their removal.

Three groups, including the city of Berkeley, sued the university last year to halt the project, which they claim would be too close to the Hayward fault to be safe.

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates complained the university’s concessions didn’t go far enough. “I’d be OK with 50 spots next to the stadium for coaches and a few others,” Bates said.

A study by an Oakland consulting firm found that the proposed training center would not violate state laws prohibiting new construction on earthquake faults.