December 14, 2005

Jennifer Lawrence, Principal Planner
PEP/Capital Projects
Architects & Engineers Building, Room 1
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720-1380

Re: Southeast Campus Integrated Projects — Initial Study Questions and Comments

Dear Jennifer Lawrence:

The Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA), a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving “those structures, sites, and areas which have special architectural, historic, or aesthetic value contributing to the enrichment of the Berkeley environment,” has reviewed the Initial Study of the Southeast Campus Integrated Projects (SCIP). BAHA is of the opinion that the sheer physical magnitude of the SCIP, alone, would cause further damage and harm to one of California’s most notable historic settings. BAHA appreciates the opportunity to participate in the public scoping process for the SCIP, but BAHA is concerned that the SCIP has not been fully disclosed or understood, and, thus, this stage of the public process would seem to be premature and flawed, pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

BAHA first questions the premise of the Notice of Preparation (NOP) asserting that the SCIP will have a focused Environmental Impact Report (EIR), tiered off of the 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) EIR, with supplemental environmental analyses. The 2020 LRDP EIR itself neglected to offer enough specific description of the project developments to prepare the public for a subsequent discussion of the SCIP in all its aspects, including its consequential changes to the environment. The seven projects listed in the NOP are not characterized or comprehensively delineated in the 2020 LRDP EIR. Nor is there any accompanying fundamental analysis of their incorporation into the geographically sensitive location.

In closing, BAHA wants to register its deep concern that the University may be planning the SCIP with environmental blinders on. Yet, within the Berkeley community there is always the eternal hope that this historic college town may retain its special sense of place and its notable setting, and that the University, with one of the brightest law schools and one of the brightest business schools, will, in fact, find solutions to “preserve and enhance the image of the UC Berkeley campus and its historic legacy of landscape and architecture” for the benefit of a shared community. Toward this end, BAHA will participate vigorously in the CEQA review process.


Wendy Markel, President

Copyright © 2005 BAHA. All rights reserved.