Historic Overlay District Zoning Ordinance on Trial!

Image result for berkeley post office lawsuitThursday, December 22nd, in Federal Court in San Francisco, Judge William Alsup declined to dismiss the Federal Government’s lawsuit against the City of Berkeley. The lawsuit claims that Berkeley’s new zoning of the Historic District – which includes the downtown Berkeley Post Office – is unconstitutional. This zoning ordinance, which prohibits most commercial uses of the properties around Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley, was passed in 2014.

In refusing the motion to dismiss, Judge Alsup stated something pretty close to “This case needs a trial. A real trial. With evidence and witnesses… With blood on the floor.” (Really. I’m not making that last up).

A trial date is set for December 4th, 2017.  The judge directed the Postal Service and the City of Berkeley to begin settlement discussions under the direction of a Federal Magistrate Judge.  Those could happen as early as February, 2017.

See here and here for more on the lawsuit.

Courthouse News reports on the hearing here.

The transcript of the proceedings is here: 16_12_22_transcript.

Judge Alsup’s ruling rejecting the City of Berkeley’s Motion to Dismiss is here: motion-to-dismiss-denied.

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