Town Square

Oak Grove developers seek court OK to proceed

Original post made on Dec 4, 2008

Developers Jennifer Lin and her brother Frederic have asked the state Court of Appeal to deny a bid by a citizens' coalition to overturn a lower court ruling that, in effect, would allow them proceed with their Oak Grove project on 562 acres of wooded land in Pleasanton's southeast hills.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, December 4, 2008, 12:03 PM


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Posted by ceasar
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm


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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 5, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Oak Grove Appeal History and Road Map

The recent PW article is informative, but if you really want to know what has happened and where this whole thing is going you need some more information.

What has happened to date?

After the appeal was filed and accepted by the Appeals Court in April, the Appellant, Ayala, was scheduled to file the first brief. She and her attorneys dragged out all the extensions they were entitled to and finally filed their brief on September 9. The Lin's and their attorneys played the same game and finally filed the Respondent's brief on November 26. This week the PW reported on this filing.

Where is all of this going?

Now the final brief due is the Appellant's Reply Brief, December 16. As of yesterday (December 4) Ayala's attorneys filed for an extension of time. The time delay game continues. After the final brief is filed the court will schedule a hearing and afterwards decide the case.

What are the arguments in these briefs?

The appellant has three arguments. Listed in their order of presentation they are:

1. The Lin's petition was not ripe for adjudication because they filed suit before Pleasanton's City Clerk had affirmatively acted.
2. Ms. Ayala's referendum petition complied with the letter and spirit of the elections code.
3. The trial court should have granted Ms. Ayala's Anti-SLAPP motion and awarded her attorney's fees.

The respondent's brief addresses each of these arguments extensively. Keep in mind that the lower court has already ruled against Ayala on all three.

What might be the outcome?

Well, now that these two briefs have been filed there is sufficient information for anyone to form their own opinion if they bother to read and analyze the briefs. You can find these as "flash" files at (after clicking wait for download to begin, and your browser needs the Adobe Flash plug-in):

Web Link

I found that the Lin's attorneys address and refute each of these arguments in an even more complete and effective manner than they did in the original lower court filings. But form your own opinion.

For me, I'm betting the appeals court affirms the lower court's judgement based upon the content found in these briefs.

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Posted by Richard
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2008 at 8:58 pm

I sounds like the party with the most money (best lawyers) - Wins.
Although, I'd bet the only ones smiling now are the attorneys.

Well, I guess we can put the final blame on the City Council for misreading (or not acting in) the publics interest. This whole mess could have be avoided.

I hope Ms. Ayala will run for City Council in the future.

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Posted by Iwaslistening
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2008 at 9:07 pm

There are many who think Oak Grove is a good decision. The developer went through the process. There were many public meetings. People in the neighborhood participated and the development passed the council by a 4-1 vote. Ms Ayala was no where to be seen until the process had almost been completed. I guess it is also sometimes trues that the squeaky wheel gets the most attention.

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Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 11, 2008 at 8:37 pm

"squeaky wheel gets the most attention" for free during the political gamesmanship process. But when it moves to the courts it requires expensive attorneys to keep the game going. Ayala has a deep pocket to carry it this far. All for ego.

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Posted by Natural
a resident of Ridgeview Commons
on Jan 19, 2009 at 7:26 am

I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too...