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BERKELEY, CA-UC Berkeley is doubling its annual payments to the City of Berkeley to settle a lawsuit the city filed in response to the university’s long-term development plans, claiming the expansion would put too much pressure on the city’s existing infrastructure. The payments will now be $1.2 million instead of $500,0000.The city says the $1.2 million annual payment will help offset the costs of sewers and storm drains, fire services, and transportation improvement programs. The payment will rise by 3% annually for a cost of living adjustment. The city sued UC Berkeley in late February to force it to further study the impact of its long-range development plan, approved by the UC Board of Regents in January. The plan called for adding 2.2 million sf of building space by 2020. City officials have estimated that the campus costs the city between $9 million and $11 million a year in services.Among other things, the settlement calls for 1,270 new parking spaces on campus by 2015 rather than the 2,300 originally proposed. The reduction is contingent upon a new AC Transit “rapid bus” on Telegraph Avenue by 2010. In addition, as part of the settlement, the city agreed to drop its demands for millions of dollars in back sewer and parking fees, and the university will pay half the cost of study for revitalizing Downtown Berkeley.

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