Ayala and others now have asked the council to pay for the appeal, arguing that since 4,000 to 5,000 voters here signed the anti-Oak Grove petition, the city should represent them in court. She is also seeking financial help from other organizations, including the Sierra Club and the ALCU. The costs of arguing an appeal through to conclusion is estimated at $40,000 to $50,000, and Ayala said neither she nor her organization have those kinds of funds. In recent weeks, several residents--but not many--have joined Ayala before the City Council to support her bid for financial help. Others, including the Lins' development representative, Atty. Marty Inderbitzen, have argued that the Superior Court ruling should stand and it's time to get on with the Oak Grove project. But so far, hamstrung by rules preventing them from discussing pending legal action, councilmembers have been unable to discuss Oak Grove. However, with Judge Roesch's ruling now recorded, the council must decide if it wants to appeal a ruling that went its way. Tuesday will be its first opportunity as a group, with the public invited to give its views at the start of the 6:30 p.m. meeting and then councilmembers to discuss the question among themselves in a closed session with City Manager Nelson Fialho and City Attorney Michael Roush. Following their discussion, the council will report out on any decision it made in closed session. Each councilmember is expected to speak publicly for the first time about Roesch's decision and if they think the city should join Ayala in an appeal or let her and her organization fight that legal battle on their own.
It's been four years since the Lins filed a development plan for Oak Grove. There have been dozens of public meetings and opportunities for the community to weigh in on whether the project should move forward. The City Council, after workshop meetings and public hearings, decided in a 4-1 vote that the 51-home development, accompanied by the largest land grant ever given to Pleasanton, would be good for the community. It would make no sense to us for the council and taxpayers of Pleasanton to now reverse course and appeal a decision that supports the development. We should use our resources to advance other public projects and let the Ayala appeal run its course.