Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 23, 2011

Oak Grove developers sue Pleasanton again

New lawsuit claims breach of contract

by Glenn Wohltmann

The Lin family is suing Pleasanton -- again -- even as it appeals its last lawsuit against the city in a bid to build on land the family owns in southeast Pleasanton known as Oak Grove.

In February, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers dismissed a case against Pleasanton brought by mother and son Jennifer and Frederic Lin. That case challenged the validity of the development agreement, which included "poison pill" language -- that is, when one of the two ordinances allowing the Oak Grove development was invalidated, the other would be as well.

The Lins had claimed their contract with Pleasanton was valid despite a referendum that threw out one of two ordinances passed by the city.

Pleasanton officials claimed -- and were supported by Rogers -- that any agreement between the city and the family was invalidated by referendum PP, in which voters opposed the development in 2010. The Lin family is appealing that ruling.

The family is now asking for damages from Pleasanton for breach of contract; it's filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court, although city officials have not yet been formally served with the paperwork.

The new lawsuit claims the city clerk violated election law by not including the full text of the development agreement between the Lins and the city on the ballot. The suit also claims, again, that the development agreement took effect and that the city was responsible to protect the Lin family under the wording in the agreement, despite the ruling earlier this year by Rogers.

Assistant City Attorney Larissa Seto said the city will hold the position it's held all along.

"We still are in our current position that a contract was never entered into because of the (poison pill) language in the adopting ordinance," Seto said. "Because there was no contract ever, there are no damages."


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