Posted by Amazing, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2009 at 5:03 pm
From Friday morning until this afternoon, the lead story on the weekly was about how the Lin Family lost the appeal and the petitioners got a unanimous victory at the appeals court. It created quite a stir with lots of comments.
But, in the perfect PleasantonWeekly world, we cannot have negative news about developers. I susepect that this post will soon 'disappear'. Here is what the Tri-Valley Herald had to say. The Weekly cannot stifle all the news:
PLEASANTON — Opponents of a controversial hillside housing development have scored a victory.
In a unanimous vote Thursday, the state's First District Court of Appeal overturned a lower court decision and ruled that a referendum by former City Councilwoman Kay Ayala and Save Pleasanton's Hills was valid. The city must now either reverse its approval of the 51-home Oak Grove development or put it to a citywide vote, as the opponents wanted.
"Our clients are very happy,' said Benjamin Shatz, of the law firm of Manat, Phelps and Phillips. "This is basically everything we could have wanted."
Andrew Sabey, a lawyer with the Cox, Castle and Nicholson firm representing landowners Jennifer and Frederic Lin, said he could not comment on what the developers' next move might be.
"We think the court got it wrong," Sabey said.
The Lins now have 40 days to decide whether to challenge the decision.
The case is part of an ongoing dispute over 51 high-end, custom homes proposed for the Oak Grove subdivision in the city's southeast hills.
The city council approved the plan in November 2007. Ayala and her group gathered about 5,200 signatures on their petition — more than the required minimum of about 3,700 signatures of 10 percent of the city's registered voters.
The Lins filed suit in Alameda County Sperior Court in December 2007, in an attempt to quash the referendum. In his ruling on the case, Judge Frank Roesch, sided with the Lins and ruled that petition gatherers did not present enough information to petition signers.
Shatz said that was the main issue in the appeal, and that the three-judge appeal panel ruled it was sufficient.
Ayala hopes the landowners don't challenge the appeal court's decision.
"In light of Measure PP, I hope they see the residents of Pleasanton want to save their hills," she said, referring to the November 2008 voter-approved measure that prohibits grading to build residential or commercial structures on properties with slopes greater than 25 percent or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline.
Also passed in that election was competing Measure QQ, which called on the city to develop a collaborative process to create an ordinance to protect the hillsides and ridgelines.
The City Council has decided to include both in the city's general plan.