By Forcing U.C. Berkeley to Cut Enrollment, Have California’s NIMBYs Finally Gone Too Far?

Berkeley activists who are “Not In My Backyard” (NIMBY), may win the battle but lose the war on their legal campaign to stop Berkeley’s student population growth.

Activists’ success in a court-ordered enrollment freeze at the university—which would result in thousands of otherwise accepted Berkeley students receiving rejection letters—is prompting a backlash from both Gov. Gavin Newsom of the state legislature could end their attempt to deprive Berkeley students of an education.

California Supreme Court will be asked to stand with the university in order to stop an impending enrollment freeze. The legislature is proposing a bill that would deny litigious neighbours the ability to block people from enrolling at a school they are interested in.

“It is unacceptable for NIMBY lawsuits to strip students of their right to a quality education by blocking housing and effectively forcing schools to reduce enrollment,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco) in a press release Tuesday announcing the introduction of Senate Bill (S.B.) 886.

It would allow public universities to exempt students and staff from having their environmental reviews done under the California Environmental Quality Act.

These reviews may take many years and could cost millions. CEQA gives citizens the right to sue third-parties and citizens if they feel that an environmental review was inadequate. It is a popular tool for anti-development activists trying to block projects they don’t like.

This includes Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods. It sued the U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Berkeley and the U.C. Board of Regents Board of Regents (the U.C.

The U.C. was ordered by a lower court judge to agree with Save Berkeley Neighborhoods. Berkeley to freeze enrollment at 2020–2021 levels until a new study on the impacts of more young scholars on campus could be done.

While the appeal from the lower court’s ruling was pending in the courts, the university approached a California appeals court for permission to suspend the enrollment freeze. The request was denied earlier in the month. This led the university to petition the state Supreme Court for assistance to stop the enrollment freeze.

It argued that letting the cap remain would have a devastating impact on current and prospective students.

According to the university, it would need to send 5,100 more admission letters to lower enrollment levels to 2020. Accepting fewer students would result in a tuition loss of $57 million. The university claims this would have an impact on its ability to provide financial aid and finance existing programs.

Phil Bokovoy is president of Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods. He says there’s no other person to blame than the university for its court losses. The university keeps growing its student body, but it doesn’t have plans to house the newcomers.

In a press release, Bokovoy stated that the university wanted to avoid responsibility for “the serious impacts that unmitigated enrolling growth has had upon low-income tenants of Berkeley”. In a press release, Bokovoy stated that the university can easily exceed its enrollment limit by admitting fewer international and outside students.

Newsom has not liked this argument. His administration filed an application last Friday AmicusBrief support for U.C. Berkeley requests that the enrollment cap be stayed.

In a statement, the governor stated that he could not allow a lawsuit to stop the education and dreams for thousands of future innovators and leaders. Amicus brief. “I ask the Supreme Court to intervene to make sure we expand access to higher education opportunities and don’t block them.”

The AmicusRob Bonta submitted a brief that explicitly stated it wasn’t going to weigh in on the U.C. CEQA is fully implemented by the Board of Regents. It is not focused on the “benefits and burdens of” the Board of Regents’ request to extend the enrollment cap.

However, Newsom’s one-two punch is still powerful. AmicusWiener’s University Housing Bill is further evidence that California has seen a seismic shift in its housing policy.

In an effort to counter local NIMBYs’ attempts to halt or halt development, the state is increasingly working with each other. These interventions are increasingly being rejected by the NIMBYs.

The state legislature approved a variety of housing reforms last year. Wiener was a coauthor on a bill which legalized duplexes in single-family zones statewide.

Bonta addressed a letter disputing Woodside’s attempt to circumvent this duplex legalization. Bonta declared the whole town to be a mountain lion protected habitat, and prohibited duplexes from being built there. Woodside’s government collapsed quickly.

Local control activists pushing a ballot measure that would nullify that duplex legalization—and prevent the state from passing future zoning reforms—are now trying to get their initiative on the 2024 ballot. They wanted to get their measure in front of voters this year.

Also, state officials are increasing the enforcement of state laws. This puts limits on the discretion of local officials to denial housing projects or slow them down with endless CEQA review. This task was previously largely left to a handful of small “yes-in-my backyard” (YIMBY), organizations.

California’s laws, while still favorable for opponents to new development are not surprising. U.C. Berkeley suggests that state patience is tiring with these NIMBY escapades.