Coming out of closed session, Mayor Brett Lee announced the city had “filed a notice of appeal in the Trackside case.” He added that “the cost of the appeal will be borne by the Trackside applicants.”
A few minutes later the city attorney noted that the Lincoln40 decision, in which the city had prevailed in court, was appealed, however, the city and applicant filed a motion to dismiss that appeal “on the basis that it was untimely..”
She announced, “That was recently granted by the appeals court which went ahead and dismissed that appeal as untimely.”
The appeal was filed on June 21, 2019 – however, that missed the June 19 deadline by two days, two months after Judge Stephen Mock finalized his decision.
In a summary ruling, the court wrote: “Respondent’s motion to dismiss the appeal is granted. The appeal filed on June 21, 2019, is dismissed.”
In April, Judge Mock, two weeks after hearing oral arguments on his tentative ruling, issued a ruling that adopts the tentative ruling.
He wrote: “Having considered all matters submitted in the papers and on oral argument, the record of respondent’s proceedings in this matter, the file in this case, and the applicable law, the Court adopts the tentative ruling.”
He also ruled once again that the project was not exempt from “CEQA as a sustainable communities project.”
Meanwhile, in Trackside, in May, Judge Sam McAdam also stuck with his original ruling despite a strong push by attorneys for the city and real party of interest, Trackside, to get him to reconsider at a hearing in mid-April.
In a 22-page ruling by Judge McAdam, the Court stated, “Based on the totality of circumstances and a review of the entire record, it is the conclusion of this Court that Trackside is not consistent with the City of Davis planning provisions governing the transition between the Core Area and to the Old East Davis neighborhood.”
The ruling goes on to conclude that, while the City made “a compelling case” for a mixed-use, residential development, the Court believes that “the mass and scale of the project is not reasonable.”
As Judge McAdam put it, “the failure here is that the mass and scale of the proposed project is not reasonable under the current law and factual circumstances. There simply is not a logical and reasoned case to be made that Trackside is a ‘transition’ from the Core Area to the Old East Davis neighborhood. Trackside would overwhelm the existing residential neighborhood. It would not respect the traditional scale and character of the neighborhood. The record lacks evidentiary support for the City’s decision.”
The judge also stated that “it follows that the SB 375 Sustainable Community Environmental Assessment conducted by the City was inadequate.” Judge McAdam writes, “The SCEA/IS did not properly assess the project inconsistency with the General Plan and related planning provisions.”
As a result, the city was directed to rescind all approvals associated with the project.
—David M. Greenwald reporting