A Victory in Court
Another legal victory for Pt Molate, for Richmond, for Richmond families and youth, the Ohlone, the environment and future generations!
SPRAWLDEF, Citizens for East Shore Parks, and four Richmond residents, won another legal victory in our lawsuit against the City of Richmond for violating California planning law and entering into a litigation settlement with the Casino Developer Upstream Point Molate and Guidiville Indian Tribe.
The settlement requires the City to agree to the commercial and residential development of Point Molate or else Upstream and Tribe can purchase the 270 acres of public land for around $1.11 an acre and then sell it off. After filing the lawsuit against this deal, the City just plowed ahead with a development proposal that will have up to 2000 residential units. All but 67 would be at market rate which in today’s market would require a purchaser to have an annual income of $250,000. This is essentially out of the price range for most Richmond residents, given the median income in Richmond is between $55,000 and $60,000.
After the lawsuit was filed, the Tribe claimed they had sovereign immunity and was an indispensable party to the lawsuit. It the Tribe had sovereign immunity, then the case had to be dismissed. The Tribe lost that argument with the trial court and then appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Appellate Court has now ruled against the Tribe and held that it had waived that immunity when it filed its lawsuit against the city that had resulted in the settlement agreement.
We can now go back to the trial court and push forward with our lawsuit to nullify the City’s decision awarding SunCal the right to develop Point Molate into a luxury housing enclave. Kudos go out to our attorneys Norman La Force and Stuart Flashman for this success.