Town Square

Post a New Topic

OAK GROVE DEVELOPER FILES LAWSUIT

Original post made by iwasthereto on Dec 20, 2007

Although not reported in the weekly, the Oak Grove developer has filed a lawsuit to block the referendum. Talk about big money at work. Sign of the times, no doubt.

Also, makes you wonder how much is really at stake here. Did they really file this lawsuit to protect the park or their own financial interests. Hmmm...lets see...

Comments (13)

Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 20, 2007 at 10:17 am

Of course the developer filed for their own financial interests. The last time I looked (this morning), we don't live under communism (yet). Keeping the park for which so many worked and for so many years would be the result of either voting down the referendum in a general election or the law suit being successful. I'm OK with an up or down vote in a general election if the petition(s) is found legal.

It is good to get on with the lawsuit now. These threads have been filled with discussion and argument about the signature gathering, its process, the tactics used, and the language of the two petitions themselves. So, let us see what a judge decides in a few short months from now.

Also, the last time I looked the judicial system is still part of the constitution and still fundamental to democracy.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2007 at 12:21 pm

"Taiwan-based property owners". These off-shore consortiums who buy property in this country have little regard to the community or environmental impact of their developments they buy into.
And if we scratched a little deeper, where did the real funding for the Lins come from on this acquisition in Pleasanton? Just as the Middle East and Europe have been gobbling up property and businesses in the United States, so as well have the Communist Chinese - I repeat, Communist Chinese. A little fact that is never mentioned when referring to the broader global market this country is so deeply mired in. Yes Frank, we're not Communist today, but tomorrow, maybe -when the globalists and those of the corporate-greed mentality sacrifice our sovereignty in the name of international trade. So don't peg it on the "leftie, pinko, tree-hugging" contingent -- look to your psuedo flag-waving Neo Cons who only care where the next dollar, er, yuan is coming from!


Posted by Shelley, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 20, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Sandy,
Next time you go shopping at Wal-Mart or buy from a company that invests in cheap human labor overseas instead of investing in manufacturing in the U.S., I want you to think of your statement you posted: "These off-shore consortiums who buy property in this country have little regard to the community or environmental impact of their developments they buy into."


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 20, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Wow, yet another example of what has become so common in these threads, especially the ones during the signature gathering phase. If one states some simple opinion such as in my above post, a sharp and emotional response results where the poster proceeds to attribute all kinds of things supposedly said that were neither said nor implied.

Now with the lawsuit in place, these threads will again heat up and watch this kind of stuff take off again.

On the Lins: they owned many large tracts in the valley, including tracts that lay in Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore going back to the 1980s and before. In the early 80's I recall looking over a parcel map of the valley and I was amazed to find the Jennifer Lin name on large tracts that appeared to include perhaps half of the undeveloped land in the valley.

For all out there that were sleeping during history class in high school, Taiwan is not and has not ever been communist. In fact, quite the opposite. Does anyone know who Chiang Kai-shek was? (You get a gold star if you do, and not a red star!) So, the wealth of the Lin family does not seem to be associated directly with communism or today's global economy.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Thinking that a majority can get together "for the benefit of the community" and determine the fate of someone else's land is communism. Maybe that is how we will become communist, when we start to believe tyranny of the majority is an acceptable democratic right and practice.


Posted by Sandy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Shelley - I agree wholeheartedly. For every dollar spent on product "Made in China", therein adds another yuan to add to the Communist Chinese military defense or it's ability to hold dominance over this country - our deficit speaks to that. But why aren't there true patriots who do invest in our own country's resources - human or land? Easier to sell out for the fast buck? Why did the original valley property owners feel the need to sell to overseas buyers with no vested interested in the area or its future other than their own desire for more wealth? As for Taiwan - not Communist now, but see what the US will do if China chooses to overtake it one day. China has us by the economic shorthairs and we are beholden unto them. And Frank, you interjected the comment about "Communism" in your initial statement as though the citizens of the community are not within their local or national constitutional rights to bring the issue forward to the community. I think it would be far more "Communistic" if we didn't. That my friend is democracy at work. Bring it to the people of Pleasanton - if all the cards are laid out before us, we'll make the right decision. The Oak Grove property is just a small example of the power of greed exceeding the inherent obligation to one's community or nation.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 21, 2007 at 1:25 pm

"And Frank, you interjected the comment about "Communism" in your initial statement as though the citizens of the community are not within their local or national constitutional rights"

Not true, I did not imply what is written above. In response to:

"Did they really file this lawsuit to protect the park or their own financial interests. Hmmm...lets see..."

I wrote:

"Of course the developer filed for their own financial interests. The last time I looked (this morning), we don't live under communism (yet)."

I continue to take exception to the continued practice in these threads where people claim some point is implied when it is clear in print what was actually wrote and implied. It's as if they see a word and some hot button gets pushed and they jump to all sorts of conclusions, all of which are imagined in their own mind but not supported by the printed word and its context. Geeeshhh...


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 21, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Is it just me or is democracy little understood by the vast majority of citizens? I mean, I know Civics class was pretty lame in high school and I probably dozed off a lot in my 11th grade US History class, but seriously folks...


Posted by rick, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 22, 2007 at 11:06 pm

The Lin Lawsuit is outrageous and will surely backfire. Incredibly, they want to prevent a referrendum on this important issue based on a technicallity. I am was on the fence regarding the Oak Grove Project but now, I am strongly against it.

This issue demonstrates what happens when individuals challenge lucrative business ventures. They get sued. I understand that Kay Ayala and others will have to defend themselves in court! I suspect this legal move will turn public opinion against the Oak Grove developement. And if, by a long shot, they win and nullify the referrendum, the council will find itself in a precarious position. They will be siding with foreign developer that used its money and influence to effectively squash the democratic process.


Posted by rick, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 22, 2007 at 11:12 pm

The Lin Lawsuit is outrageous and will surely backfire. Incredibly, they want to prevent a referrendum on this important issue based on a technicallity. I was on the fence regarding the Oak Grove Project but now, I am strongly against it.

This issue demonstrates what happens when individuals challenge lucrative business ventures. They get sued. I understand that Kay Ayala and others will have to defend themselves in court! I suspect this legal move will turn public opinion against the Oak Grove developement. And if, by a long shot, they win and nullify the referrendum, the council will find itself in a precarious position. They will be siding with foreign developer that used its money and influence to effectively squash the democratic process.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 23, 2007 at 10:08 am

Regardless of what one thinks of the lawsuit, it is also part of the democratic practice in this country. How else would a minority party be able to protect their rights and interests if they couldn't try to sue against some perceived injustice? It isn't like they can go out and get a majority vote.

Don't know if anyone here had watched the Nov. 6th Council meeting, but this issue regarding the referendum and the two ordinances was discussed between Council and Kay Ayala during the public hearing so the lawsuit isn't so outrageous as one may think. Council added some "poison pill" language to both ordinances so that they would both be overturned if one of them was referended (probably in order to protect the City from lawsuit). Ayala was basically warned on Nov. 6th that there's two ordinances she needs to address. So I don't know what she was thinking in not including information about the second ordinance during the petition process, if that is true. The court will determine if the election code was truly broken or not. The property owners have a right to a fair election after all as anyone here would want for themselves.

BTW, if anyone takes a look at the Land Use portion of the General Plan, the language regarding the southeast hills sounds exactly like what was done to get the park from the Lins in the first place. Specifically it calls for attempts to be made to get developers to dedicate land to the City for openspace/parkland. Another option is for the City to set up bonds and other funding means to purchase land outright. So it looks like the City and Council, et. al. was just following the General Plan when working on this Oak Grove project.


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 23, 2007 at 7:20 pm

The Oak Grove lawsuit, while receiving an expected number of emotional and negative responses, deserves some unemotional research into the background law so as to benefit the larger readership of these threads. Here's a bit of what I have been able to come up with (and I'm not a lawyer).

The following quotes are taken from Durkee, et al, "Land-Use Initiatives and Referenda in California", Solano Press Books, 1990. Given that this reference is dated, one will likely find more recent teachings and case law that reads on the subject at hand, but the teachings in this book are still very relevant to the Oak Grove referendum.

"Despite the general reluctance of courts to grant preelection review, challenges involving questions of.....whether the initiative or referendum petition is defective often get preelection judicial attention."

"....sufficiency of petition...."

"When deficiencies in the exercise of the people's franchise threaten the proper operation of the election process, the courts have been willing to enforce statutory safeguards enacted to protect that process."

"For example, the Elections Code sets forth requirements....and requirements relating to the attachment of the text of the measure to be enacted or repealed."

"The test for determining whether a failure to comply....was set forth by the court in Assembly v. Deukmejian, .....: 'A paramount concern in determining whether a petition is valid despite an alleged defect is whether the purpose of the technical requirement is frustrated by the defective form of the petition'."

"See, Creighton v. Reviczky, supra (a referendum petition which contained only .....instead of its full text, as required by Secion 4052, invalidated by the court because it failed to provide the electors with the information which they needed in order to exercise intelligently their rights under referendum law..."

In the present Oak Grove case the petitioners tried for a two-for-one referendum, that is, referend one of two ordinances but kill the second one automatically, which in this case was the development agreement. The city council cooperated in this endeavor by putting poison pill language in the ordinances that invalidated the other ordinance if one was referended. But there was no text subsequently presented to the signers describing the development agreement ordinance, nor was it made clear to the signers, that two ordinances were effectively being referended through this poison pill arrangement. Now a judge will decide with the benefit of two or three decades of case law whether the "purpose..... is frustrated by the defective form of the petition."

To appreciate how this came about, you can either read the minutes of the November 6 council meeting or watch the video of it, or both.


Posted by Nicole, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 23, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Interestingly enough, it was reported in a local paper that the proponents were just provided the entire package shortly before the last council meeting, insinuating that it had been withheld. First of all, one would hope that the people protesting the development would have read all the info attached to the two ordinances before deciding it was a bad plan. This would not have been hard to do. It is public record. In fact, any citizen could ask, but one must ask for the information. In many cases it can also be downloaded, but that also takes effort. All any of them had to do was ask the clerk. Certainly something of which at least one of them was aware since she used to sit on the council. So if last week was the first time they were privy to the two ordinances and the supporting documents it was because they had not asked for them and consequently had not read the info. I think that is a problem. Even if you trusted what the proponents were saying, in most cases they could not have known the entire story and were unaware of the work involved in the four years spent on this project. After all, according to Ms Ayala, she just received the information last week.


If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Tough new rules on water are necessary
By Tim Hunt | 11 comments | 1,132 views

Circumstances without Pomp
By Roz Rogoff | 3 comments | 987 views

‘Much Ado’ or is it Adios for ObamaCare?
By Tom Cushing | 5 comments | 331 views