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UC Davis' Aggie Square project faces litigation from Sacramento group

The group claims pollution and gentrification could greatly affect the area surrounding the UC Board of Regents' project.

SACRAMENTO, California — Sacramento Investment Without Displacement (SIWD), a community activist group, sued the UC Board of Regents over its Aggie Square project in the Oak Park and Tahoe Park area. And Sacramento city officials are concerned.

According to the lawsuit, the group claims the Aggie Square will cause increased pollution and gentrification, going against the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

SIWD said on its website, the project goes against the community's interest. The group said the project would increase the demand for housing in the area, potentially leading to the displacement of current lower-income residents. According to the lawsuit, the project would also result in secondary-pollution from the large buildings planned and increased traffic on the Sacramento campus.

The group also claims the UC Board of Regents did not adequately assess the impacts of increased traffic for the area surrounding Aggie Square.

The city of Sacramento's Mayor Darrell Steinberg and councilmembers Jay Schenirer and Eric Guerra said in a letter that the city has been working with SIWD to alleviate concerns shortly before filing the lawsuit. According to Steinberg, the city plans to commit tens of millions of dollars towards affordable housing in the area due to the organization's concerns. But because of the lawsuit, the city will have to stop communicating with SIWD directly.

The letter from city officials expressed their concern that the CEQA lawsuit could lead to a delay of the project and possibly lead to its end.

"SIWD’s action is both unfortunate and ultimately unproductive," city officials said in a letter.

The city officials said the project could bring up to 10,000 jobs between the construction and economic growth resulting from the UC Davis expansion.

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