Truckee Railyard lawsuit: Superior court judge could make ruling at Friday hearing
March 30, 2010
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; After almost a year of legal shuffling, a judge could offer a ruling this week on the downtown Railyard project.
The Friends of Truckee v. Town of Truckee lawsuit goes before Judge C. Anders Holmer at 11 a.m. Friday, April 2, at Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee, and both sides will have a chance to argue the merits of the litigation against the redevelopment project.
and#8220;The judge will consider the arguments as to whether the town complied with (the California Environmental Quality Act), state planning and zoning laws,and#8221; said Whit Manley, an attorney with Remy Thomas Moose and Manley representing the developer, Holliday Development, and the town.
Friends of Truckee formed in 2009 to oppose the project, which proposes residential and commercial development on the 75 acres east of downtown, including a hotel and movie theater.
The group takes issue with the project’s restoration plans for Trout Creek, an old railroad building on the site, and the re-routing of Donner Pass Road, said Bryan DeVoe, one of the plaintiffs named in the legal petition, along with Siobhan Smart.
and#8220;One of the big issues is the segmentation of the project from Trout Creek restoration,and#8221; said Donald Mooney, of the Law Office of Donald Mooney in Davis, Calif., who represents the Friends of Truckee. and#8220;We’ve argued the Railyard project really depends on the restoration project to move forward.and#8221;
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The group is challenging the project’s Environmental Impact Report’s compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, Mooney said.
and#8220;In looking at the historic resources and Donner Pass Road realignment, we’re arguing there was a failure to adequately address all alternatives,and#8221; he said.
Manley said Holmer could make a ruling Friday, or take the two sides’ arguments under submission and issue a ruling at a later date; Mooney said Holmer could also continue the hearing for further briefing.
Depending on how he rules, the side unhappy with the results could appeal, sending the case to the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Sacramento, Manley said.
The hearing will be decided by Holmer, not a jury.
and#8220;This is all a question of the law rather than the facts and#8212; a judge interprets the law, and juries decide facts,and#8221; Manley said.
Regardless if the suit is resolved Friday, owner Rick Holliday said he doesn’t plan to give up after the town’s unanimous approval last June.
and#8220;I will not give up on Truckee, because I don’t buy that the Friends of Truckee really represents Truckee,and#8221; Holliday said. and#8220;We had the five to zero vote and all those people who spoke in favor of the Railyard that night, and I don’t intend to quit on them.and#8221;