ALBANY -- Two appeals challenging approval of a University of California mixed use development along San Pablo Avenue were unanimously rejected March 5 by the City Council.

The vote came after a contentious special meeting at which the council limited public comment. Mayor Peggy Thomsen also ordered police to remove an opponent of the project for disrupting the meeting.

Opponents planed to meet this week to discuss their options.

The proposed development includes a Sprouts Farmers Market, senior housing and other retail.

The project, years in the formation, has been a battleground between backers of new development to bolster the city's economic base and housing needs versus open space advocates, including many who want the land preserved for urban agriculture uses.