Archived News Release from 2009
For Immediate Release
City Agrees to Pay Attorneys’ Fees in Downtown Precise Plan Dispute, Move Forward with Revised Plan
Redwood City, CA - June 19, 2009 – At its closed session on June 15th, the City Council of Redwood City decided to accept a judge’s ruling that the City pay attorneys’ fees related to a lawsuit disputing the City’s Downtown Precise Plan. The judge in the case ordered the City to pay attorneys’ fees of $260,378.
The City had the option of appealing the amount of the fees, but instead determined that it was in the best interest of the community to put the matter to rest. The amount of attorney’s fees that the City will pay is less than half of the nearly $600,000 that the plaintiffs had originally requested. The City disputed the appropriateness of an award of attorneys’ fees and the amount being sought by the plaintiff at a hearing held before the court last March. The judge’s order for the City to pay the reduced amount came after her lengthy review and analysis, and was well-reasoned in its support of the City’s contention that the originally requested amount was unwarranted.
The City is now poised to move forward purposefully and confidently to provide a strengthened and updated Downtown Precise Plan and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to benefit the downtown and the entire community. The resulting plan will provide the opportunity and guidelines for thoughtful, sustainable, community-based development as Redwood City’s Downtown moves forward.
The lawsuit brought by a downtown property owner claimed the Downtown Precise Plan’s environmental documentation did not adequately address the issues of taller buildings casting shadows on other properties, or of the protection of historic resources in the Downtown area. The court concurred, and determined the EIR to be deficient. The City respectfully disagreed with the court’s findings, but decided that complying was a more reasonable option than engaging in a drawn-out, expensive, and uncertain appeal process.
Late this year, the City will focus on the revision of the Downtown Precise Plan EIR, incorporating not only the shadowing and historic resources aspects, but also updating other sections that may have changed since the first EIR was produced. Among those are traffic and noise, air quality, and new laws related to climate change/greenhouse gas emissions. The revised EIR will then be re-circulated in draft form for public comment before being finalized, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2010.
The Downtown Precise Plan describes Downtown Redwood City’s future urban design, land uses, housing, architectural styles and other developmental aspects. With the City Council’s leadership over the last several years, development of the plan included a great deal of community involvement and input as residents, business owners, developers, housing advocates, and others shared creative ideas and opinions, and helped the City to shape this important blueprint for the future.
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