The California housing crisis has arrived on campus. And this time, it’s not the fault of greedy developers or scheming politicians. The crisis is caused by environmentalists who have thrown a monkey wrench into Berkeley’s admissions plans to enroll thousands of students.

The problem for the new Berkeley students is that there’s literally nowhere to put them. The school accidentally sort of forgot to build enough housing for them — or, at least, they put the problem on the back burner to take care of later.

Either way, California greens took the school to court and on Friday, a judge ruled that Berkeley had to cap admissions at 2021-22 levels.

The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, is being employed by a neighborhood civic group — Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods — to cut enrollment and build more housing for low-income people.


CEQA requires developers to disclose a development project’s potential environmental effects on the surrounding community and take steps to reduce or eliminate them. It has been used by groups and individuals across California to halt housing and other development, or squeeze concessions from developers along the way.

Bokovoy’s group argues that the university did not properly assess the impact population growth would have on city services, scarce local housing and noise. The school has exceeded its enrollment target set out in 2005 by 11,000 students, without building nearly enough housing to keep up.

“I think it would pretty much end any possibility of having low-income renters within a mile or a mile and a half of the campus,” Bokovoy said. “If you’re serious about providing access, then you need to build the housing so that students have someplace to live.”

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin was very apologetic. “The remedy that we sought was never to freeze enrollment,” Arreguin said. “The reason is because while we think that the university needs to be a good neighbor, and needs to pay its fair share, we don’t want to deprive thousands of students from being able to get an education.”

State lawmakers say they are working on a legislative fix. In the meantime, the university has plans in place to enroll many of those otherwise excluded students through a combination of online classes and deferred enrollment.

“This is against everything we stand for — new pathways to success, attracting tomorrow’s leaders, making college more affordable,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Twitter. “UC’s incoming freshman class is the most diverse ever but now thousands of dreams will be dashed to keep a failing status quo.”

They really don’t get it, do they? You, Gov. Newsom, and your crew of woke radicals are the “status quo”!  This is not a problem of big business or anything to do with the private sector. It’s impossibly expensive to build any kind of housing in California, and Newsom and his gang of radicals are to blame.

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