The state Court of Appeal Tuesday denied a bid by attorneys for developers Jennifer Lin and her brother Frederic to have the justices rehear arguments made with regard a legal battle over the Lins' plan to build at 51-luxury home community in Pleasanton's southeast hills, a development called Oak Grove.
The court ruled against the Lins July 16 and granted the appeal of former Councilwoman Kay Ayala and a citizens group she organized to reverse an earlier Superior Court ruling that favored the Lins. The Lins had argued the Ayala's group failed to follow proper procedures in circulating petitions in late 2007 seeking to block the proposed Oak Grove development, which the City Council approved two years ago. More than 3,700 registered Pleasanton voters signed the petitions, enough to qualify the measure for a referendum to overturn the City Council's 4-1 vote approving the project.
Although the Court of Appeal slightly modified its opinion, in accord with arguments made by the Lins' attorney, Andrew Sabey of the San Francisco law firm of Cox, Castle & Nicholson, it denied his petition for a rehearing.
"This modification does not affect a change in the judgment," the appellate court ruled. "The petition for rehearing is denied."
Two options remain for the Lins in their effort to build the Oak Grove homes. They can ask the California Supreme Court to review the Court of Appeal's decision or seek the support of Pleasanton voters in a citywide referendum on the project, which Ayala and her group have been demanding.
If Sabey, on behalf of the Lins, files a petition for review, that action must be taken by midnight Aug. 25 to be deemed timely. The Supreme Court then has 60 days from the date the petition for a review is filed to decide if it will review the Court of Appeal ruling.
If the Supreme Court rejects the review petition, as some legal analysts expect, the Alameda County Registrar would then complete the certification of the Ayala petitions, which the Lins' action has delayed, and send them to Pleasanton City Clerk Karen Diaz.
The City Council would then have approximately one month to consider the petitions and decide if it wants to reverse its 2007 ruling and deny the Lins' Oak Grove project, or send the issue to voters in a referendum.
If the project goes to voters, it's likely the measure would be a separate issue on the state primary ballot next spring.