UC Berkeley erects fence at previously occupied lot in Albany

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Last week, UC Berkeley erected a fence around an undeveloped university-owned plot of land in Albany in an attempt to prevent Occupy the Farm protesters from intruding on the property.

The university plans to develop the lot into a Sprouts Farmers Market. The activist group Occupy the Farm, which advocates turning the lot into an urban farm, has protested the university’s plans since spring 2012.

The protesters, who have intermittently camped and planted on the lot, were last evicted by UCPD in early May and have since ceased attempts to farm on the property.

The fence was built to prevent further intrusions on the property, said UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof. The fence will protect the university’s property rights and send the message that the area is not a vacant lot, he said.

“We’ve heard from the community their frustration with the continued presence of the Occupy group,” Mogulof said. “We hope the fence will deter future incursions.”

Members of Occupy the Farm could not be reached for comment.

According to Mogulof, the university has formed an extensive development plan with the community over the last five years. He said the development will generate revenue, which will be directed toward keeping housing costs low for UC Berkeley students.

Contact Madeleine Pauker at [email protected]