Oak Grove developers take legal battle to state Supreme Court

Seek review of appellate court rejection of bid to block protest petitions

Attorneys for developers Jennifer Lin and her brother Frederic have asked the California Supreme Court to review a decision by the state Court of Appeal last month that they believe was wrong 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.

In a lengthy brief, Atty. Andrew B. Sabey of the San Francisco law firm of Cox, Castle & Nicholson, who represent the Lins, claims that former Pleasanton Councilwoman Kay Ayala and a citizens group she organized 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.

The Lins successfully filed a suit before Judge Frank Roesch in Alameda County Superior Court who agreed with their claim and ordered the county Registrar not to certify the petitions. It was that decision that the Court of Appeal reversed on an appeal by Atty. Benjamin G. Shatz of the law firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, which represents Ayala and the citizens group.

Shatz has until Sept. 14 to file an answer to the Lins' request to the Supreme Court, which has until Oct. 24 at the latest to decide if it will accept the petition. Only about 3 per cent of petitions for review of Court of Appeal decisions are granted by the Supreme Court

"We are confident the petition will be denied," Shatz said.

If the Supreme Court rejects the review petition, 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.

Besides building 51 custom home in the hills above Kottinger Ranch, the Lins would also give 496 acres of the land they own there to the city free of charge for public and recreational use under an agreement approved by the City Council.

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Like this comment
Posted by Justice vs. Developers?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm

There's money involved, which trumps?

The Lawyer's motto:
"If justice prevails, you can always appeal!"

Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 4, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Sounds like a last ditch effort for attorneys to get the most money from their client's very deep pockets. This type of action by the attorneys are how they earn their reputations of rape, pillage & plunder.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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