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CaliforniaALL, Freada Kapor Klein, Level Playing Field Institute, The Regents of the University of California, Uncategorized

Update on dubious amicus curie briefs filed by University of California Regents / CSU Board of Trustees / California School Boards Associations in litigation involving abode of Mitchell Kapor and Freada Kapor-Klein : 1- Mitch Kapor — husband of UC Berkeley Foundation’s Freada Kapor Klein of CaliforniaALL financial scheme — employed by UC Berkeley as professor 2- YR spoke to attorneys for some of amici… some amicus claim legal interest in re “issue of exemption” for “single family home” not convincing … fishy …

Berkeley Hillside Preservation Wins CEQA Appeal Berkeley

From Susan Brandt-Hawley, attorney for appellants
Thursday February 16, 2012 – 03:26:00 PM

On February 15th, the First District Court of Appeal reversed the Alameda County Superior Court and ruled that the City of Berkeley’s approval of the 10,000 square foot Kapor residence and 10-car garage proposed for a steep lot in the Berkeley Hills was unlawful. The Court agreed with Berkeley Hillside Preservation that the project is not exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Wide community opposition arose when the City failed to require any environmental study. The precedent-setting published appellate opinion clarifies the standard of review and holds that CEQA exemptions cannot be used when there is expert opinion or other substantial evidence that a project may have significant environmental impacts. Here, renowned geotechnical expert Dr. Lawrence Karp provided expert evidence of unstudied “massive grading” and potential for seismic lurching of hillside fills.

The appellate court ruled that the Kapor house, which one appellate Justice characterized as “humongous” at the appellate argument, is not a typical single-family residence that merits exemption from CEQA. The Court ordered that a peremptory writ issue to order the City of Berkeley “to set aside the approval of use permits and its finding of a categorical exemption, and to order the preparation of an EIR” before further consideration of the project’s four required use permits.

Please continue @:

http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-02-14/article/39316?headline=Berkeley-Hillside-Preservation-Wins-CEQA-Appeal-Berkeley–From-Susan-Brandt-Hawley-attorney-for-appellants

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City of Berkeley sued over Mitch Kapor home

May 28, 2010 6:00 am by Tracey Taylor

The proposed home, by Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects.

A group of Berkeley residents has filed suit against the City of Berkeley for failing to act with due process when it approved the application, by Lotus founder and philanthropist Mitch Kapor, to build a new home at 2707 Rose Street.

The newly formed Berkeley Hillside Preservation group filed a petition in the Alameda Superior Court yesterday stating that the city had exempted the Kapor application from an environmental review that is mandated under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

“This application was approved without following environmental laws,” says Susan Brandt-Hawley, the attorney representing the Hillside Preservation Group which, she says, is made up of Berkeley residents, some of whom live close to the Kapor site. Brandt-Hawley says the group is asking that the court issue a peremptory writ ordering the city to set aside its approval of the project pending compliance with CEQA.

At the heart of the petition is the issue of grading. The group cites expert evidence from geotechnical engineer Dr Lawrence B. Karp which states that a grading study is necessary to ascertain whether massive grading and foundations would be required to prevent seismic lurching of the hillside lot. An environmental review would also consider impacts relating to demolition, traffic and aesthetics.

The plan by Mitch Kapor, who is also an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley, to build a home for himself and his wife, Freada Klein, in north Berkeley has been dogged by controversy from the outset. This, despite the fact that many of the immediate neighbors of the proposed Rose Street site support Kapor’s proposal for a home there.

On April 27, Berkeley’s councilmembers voted to green-light construction of the home after rejecting an appeal against the January approval for the project by the city’s zoning board. The consensus was that the application was exempt from environmental review because it was for a single family home. The lawsuit points out that exemptions cannot be used when there is expert opinion that a proposal may have environmental impacts, and that the size of the proposed home — 10,000 sq ft when including a 10-car garage — means the project is not a typical low‐impact single‐family project.

Please continue @:

http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2012-02-14/article/39316?headline=Berkeley-Hillside-Preservation-Wins-CEQA-Appeal-Berkeley–From-Susan-Brandt-Hawley-attorney-for-appellants

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California Supreme Court Partial Docket for BERKELEY HILLSIDE PRESERVATION v. CITY OF BERKELEY

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris : Amicus curiae

Catherine Mitchell Wieman
Office of the Attorney General
300 South Spring Street, Suite 1702
Los Angeles, CA

The Building Industry Association of the Bay Area : Amicus curiae

Stephen L. Kostka
Perkins Coie, LLP
4 Embarcadero Center, Suite 2400
San Francisco, CA

Planning and Conservation League : Amicus curiae

Jan Chatten-Brown
Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP
2200 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 318
Hermosa Beach, CA

Endangered Habitat League : Amicus curiae

Jan Chatten-Brown
Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP
2200 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 318
Hermosa Beach, CA

California Preservation Foundation : Amicus curiae

Jan Chatten-Brown
Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP
2200 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 318
Hermosa Beach, CA

Save Our Heritage Organization : Amicus curiae

Jan Chatten-Brown
Chatten-Brown & Carstens LLP
2200 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 318
Hermosa Beach, CA

The California Building Industry Association : Amicus curiae

Michael Zischke
Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP
555 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Andrew B. Sabey
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
555 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA

California Business Properties Association : Amicus curiae

Michael Zischke
Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP
555 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Andrew B. Sabey
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
555 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation : Amicus curiae

Michael Zischke
Cox, Castle & Nicholson, LLP
555 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Andrew B. Sabey
Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
555 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Pacific Legal Foundation : Amicus curiae

Malcolm Reed Hopper
Pacific Legal Foundation
930 G Street
Sacramento, CA

California School Boards Associations’s Education Legal Alliance : Amicus curiae

Harold M. Freiman
Lozano Smith
2001 North Main Street, Suite 650
Walnut Creek, CA

Kelly Marie Rem
Lozano Smith
2001 North Main Street, Suite 650
Walnut Creek, CA

The Regents of the University of California : Amicus curiae

Charles Furlonge Robinson
University of California/Office of General Counsel
1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor
Oakland, CA

Kelly L. Drumm
Office of the General Counsel
1111 Franklin Street, 8th Floor
Oakland, CA

The Board of Trustees of the California State University : Amicus curiae

Andrea Marie Gunn
Office of General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA

Christine Helwick
Office of the General Counsel
401 Golden Shore, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA

League of California Cities : Amicus curiae

Amanda Jean Monchamp
Holland & Knight LLP
50 California Street, 28th Floor
San Francisco, CA

Melanie Sengupta
Holland & Knight
50 California Street, 28th Floor
San Francisco, CA

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See also developing story @:

http://tinyurl.com/cqcp97c

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About Leslie Brodie

Leslie Brodie is a reporter, writer, blogger, activist, and a religious leader in the community.

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