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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Costco foes pivot to the courts

Uploaded: Dec 19, 2017
Here’s the latest strategy to battle Costco in Pleasanton: when your signature drive fails, pivot and pitch a case into the courts.
That’s the strategy that Matt Sullivan and his Citizens for Responsible Growth took this month. They had mounted a referendum drive to overturn the City Council’s unanimous approval of the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone. Mayor Jerry Thorne recused himself because he once owned Costco stock in a retirement fund.
Costco is planned as the anchor store in that development. It would be the third location in the Tri-Valley, complementing Livermore and Danville. The zone also includes spots for two hotels and other retail uses.
Sullivan’s group had 30 days to gather more than 4,000 signatures and the deadline went without any filing. Sullivan was quoted in the Pleasanton Weekly saying it was a tough time of year with the Thanksgiving holiday to gather signatures.
Perhaps, but this is the first referendum drive in memory that has failed to gather enough signatures to file with the city clerk. In 2016, Bill Wheeler, owner of Black Tie Transportation, put together a team that included paid gatherers and qualified an initiative for the ballot. Pleasanton voters rejected it by almost a 2-1 margin.
Given that margin, the council was very comfortable moving ahead.
Now, Sullivan’s group has challenged the approval in court, questioning the adequacy of the environmental work and whether it adequately mitigated the impacts of the project. The filing, by attorney Mark R. Wolfe, appears to be throwing as much mud on the wall as possible and hope a judge finds that some of its sticks. That said, Wolfe has an impressive background in planning as well as the law.
There was a time that these suits were easy to win and force more environmental work or a settlement. Of late, they have been a tool often used by unions to force proponents to sign favorable labor agreements.
Just where this suit will go is for time to tell. It’s doubtful that it will stop the project, but it could become more expensive and be delayed while the matter wends its way through the courts.

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Posted by Buc Lau, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Dec 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Interesting that the last lawsuit where this firm prevailed was in 2012...

Posted by Scott Hale, a resident of San Ramon,
on Dec 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Scott Hale is a registered user.

Matt structured his suit so if he wins the city will pay legal fees. I hope if the city wins, he then owes the taxpayers for their legal fees.

Posted by We Voted!!!, a resident of Stoneridge,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

Matt and Joe "son of Sullivan", if you want to be taken serious, you will need to answer the same two question that you have blatantly ignoring. Until you can, you lose any credibility. Any thing you say with out an answer will make it seem like your hiding something. Please don't point out what the city is doing wrong, the focus is on you. After you have answer the 2 question, then we can move on, and maybe trust you a little more.

1. Who paid for the people to get the signatures for the petition that failed?
Matt Who Paid for it. Answers please. everyone that spent money on it.

2 Do you work for or have any affiliation of any kind with any of these company? and if so list them. Shell oil, Black Tie limousine, CHEVRON, Safeway.

If you say nothing or don't answer these 2 question then you are hiding something very big.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone!

Posted by samuelj, a resident of St. Claire Gardens,
on Jan 17, 2018 at 5:58 am

samuelj is a registered user.

Interesting. Thanks for keeping us up to date regarding this issue. Hope everything is going to be good for everyone. To get ourselves out of this stress life, we need entertainment. You can watch movies or read books. For hd movies, I refer this Web Link and watch the films on that app. For books, I don't need to specify any one source, there are many apps and services for that. Thank you once again!

Posted by Perez, a resident of Blackhawk,
on Jan 26, 2018 at 1:34 am

I hope if the city wins, he then owes the taxpayers for their legal fees. Interesting that the last lawsuit where this firm prevailed was in 2012...

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