UC, AS&R and C0A Reach Settlement!

AS&R and Carbon Neutral Albany (C0A) are pleased to announce agreement with the University of California (UC) on a proposed amendment to the global climate change mitigation measure regarding the University Village Mixed-Use Project in Albany, California. The parties hope the Albany City Council will adopt this amendment at its meeting this Monday, May 6th. This would allow for completion of the settlement agreement.

UC has reaffirmed its commitment to climate change mitigation at the University Village Mixed-Use Project in the settlement agreement.  The agreement proposes to amend the climate change mitigation language regarding cycling facilities as follows (deletions in strikeout and additions underlined):

“Provide bicycle lanes and/or paths, incorporated into the proposed street systems and connected to a community-wide network subject to the limitations set forth in. This mitigation measure would not modify or alter Mitigation Measure TRANS-12.”

Because Mitigation Measure TRANS-12 regards improving the crossing of San Pablo at Dartmouth for people walking and biking, the improvement was dependent on CalTrans approval.  AS&R was concerned that the original language could be interpreted as holding that if CalTrans did not approve the crossing improvement then none of the other cycling facilities needed to be including in the project.

This concern arose in when UC successfully asked for the additional language “subject to the limitations set forth in Mitigation Measure TRANS-12” in the last minutes before Council’s approval of the project at 2 am on July 10th last year.  UC asked for this language out of concern the previous language would compel it to improve the crossing, and so if CalTrans did not approve of the improvement the project could not proceed.

C0A, AS&R’s partner organization  in the legal effort, negotiated a proposed amendment regarding the solar power portion of the climate change mitigation measure.  The previous language did not include a minimum amount of solar power that would be installed.  UC commits to such a minimum in the amendment.

The settlement discussions provided all parties the opportunity to understand each other’s concerns and find language to address those concerns.  In this spirit, UC, AS&R, and C0A cooperated in reaching the proposed settlement agreement without need of a court proceeding. The parties repeatedly joined in successfully petitioning the court to delay the start of its proceeding to provide more time for discussion. UC, AS&R and C0A agreed to share the legal cost of the settlement should the Albany City Council adopt the amendment.

AS&R hopes the City Council will adopt the amendments this coming Monday, and looks forward to working with UC, the City and the project developers during the next project review and approval phases.


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