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City wins tentative ruling in Oak Grove housing lawsuit

Original post made on Feb 8, 2011

Pleasanton has won a tentative favorable ruling in the its legal battle with landowners Jennifer and Fredric Lin who have sued the city for the right to build 51 houses on 600 acres they own in the southeast hills.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 11:56 AM

Comments (7)

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm

The judge further wrote:

"Once the referendum petition was submitted, Ordinance No. 1961 was suspended and such suspension, combined with the "poison pill" language likewise suspended Ordinance No. 1962 and the development agreement."

Her conclusion that mere submission of the referendum "suspended Ordinance No. 1962" is the heart of the issue. She is assuming that this was implied because there is no language in No. 1961 saying that this would be the case.

A negative ruling against the Lin's ability to proceed with their lawsuit is almost certain to be appealed.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 8, 2011 at 6:22 pm

"the Court interprets Ordinance No. 1961, Ordinance No. 1962, and the development agreement to constitute an integrated contract designed to be read and interpreted together."

This is an interesting legal interpretation, that is, where laws (ordinances are laws passed by a legislative body) are components of "an integrated contract" and subject to contract law interpretations without looking at actual codified law that governs ordinances. There is no language in California law regarding the referending of ordinances that supports the judge's interpretation. To cite contract law as the guiding principal is weak.

It is my opinion that the complexity of this case is over the head of this politically appointed judge (and her law clerks), who has essentially no judicial experience in her resume, particularly in this field of law.


Posted by Mike, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Feb 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Frank, do you have judicial experience in your resume, particularly in this field of law?
Perhaps you are the one who is lacking in understanding...just saying: )


Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 9, 2011 at 1:26 am

MAMMOTH LAKES LAND ACQUISITION, LLC v. TOWN OF MAMMOTH LAKES
C059239
COURT OF APPEAL OF CALIFORNIA, THIRD APPELLATE DISTRICT
191 Cal. App. 4th 435; 2010 Cal. App. LEXIS 2172
December 30, 2010, Filed
From History of Developer Agreements:
In 1984, the Legislature added a declaration that development agreements would also allow municipalities to extract promises from the developers concerning financing and construction of necessary infrastructure. (Gov. Code, 65864, subd. (c); Stats. 1984, ch. 143, 1, p. 431.) This declaration makes it clear that the scope of development agreements need not be limited to freezing land use rules, regulations, and policies but can include other promises between the municipality and the developer. Thus, a legislatively approved development agreement gives both parties vested contractual rights.

From Appellate Court decision:
A development agreement is treated as a legislative act for the purpose of a challenge to the agreement either (1) by referendum or (2) an action concerning the municipality's authority to enter into the agreement. In SMART, supra, 84 Cal.App.4th at pages 227 and 228, the court summarized the effect of the "legislative act" language. It said: "A development agreement is a legislative act ([Gov. Code,] 65867.5) and the County's board of supervisors has the discretion to determine what legislation is necessary and appropriate. A reviewing court will not set aside a legislative act unless it is arbitrary, capricious, or unlawful."

Here, the question does not concern the validity of the Development Agreement as a legislative act of the Town. Instead, this is an action between the parties of the Development Agreement concerning the interpretation of the agreement. As to that question, the Development Agreement is a contract between the parties. Therefore, canons of statutory interpretation do not apply.


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

How many millions is this "citizens initiative" going to cost us before this is over?


Posted by A. Morgan, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Feb 9, 2011 at 9:37 am

A big thanks to all the voters in Pleasanton who voted down Measure G! I now have a semi-private mountain paradise up here in the hills to hike, bike & enjoy the beautiful early-spring weather we've been having. Best part is none of you pesky people from the "flatlands" will be driving through our neighborhood, clogging up our streets with extra traffic, littering, taking valuable parking spaces etc.

Thanks again Carla for saving "Our Hills."


Posted by resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

A. Morgan,

Measure G was the last attempt at a parcel tax.


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