Appeals court issues temporary stay, putting hold on People's Park construction in Berkeley

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Friday, August 5, 2022
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An appeals court has temporarily stayed all planned construction and further demolition and tree cutting at People's Park in Berkeley.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- An appeals court has temporarily stayed all planned construction and further demolition, tree cutting, and landscape alterations at People's Park in Berkeley unless the alterations are necessary for public health and safety reasons.

The request to stay the erection of a security fence was denied.

Stay is defined as an action taken by a court to stop a legal proceeding or the actions of a party

Construction crews began work in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday to fence off the park and clear the way for demolition. But late morning, a small but loud group of protesters clashed with police.

RELATED: UC Berkeley calls off construction at People's Park after protesters, police clash; 7 arrested

Seven arrests were made and two officers were injured on Wednesday during what UC Berkeley called "unlawful protest activity and violence" at People's Park over a student housing project.

Some equipment was vandalized.

As a result, the university suspended construction.

UC Berkeley wants to redevelop part of the park by building housing for 1,100 students and 125 people currently experiencing homelessness.

According to our media partner, the San Jose Mercury news, "while construction must stop, police can still legally set up barricades around the park."

In a statement to ABC7 News, UC Berkeley wrote:

"The appellate court has imposed a new injunction that, for now, precludes continuation of construction work, and any other activity not necessary for public health and safety.While this new injunction will add further delay and significant additional costs to the project, we are pleased the court has agreed to an expedited process. We are also satisfied with the court's decision to allow the campus to close and secure the construction site pending the expedited ruling. The campus is now assessing options to get that done in a safe, effective way.While we are dismayed by the readiness of some individuals to engage in dangerous, violent and unlawful activity as a way of expressing their opposition to the project, our commitment to addressing an urgent student housing crisis, and to supporting unhoused members of our community, is unwavering.We have confidence in the strength of our legal position and will be exploring all feasible options to make up for lost time and open the student housing, as scheduled, in the fall of 2024."

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