The Danville Town Council has decided to appeal a second component of a recent court ruling against the town in a lawsuit over a new residential development approved in 2013 for the northeast side of town.
In a 4-0 vote Tuesday, council members opted to challenge a county judge's finding that the town failed to adequately address bicycle safety impacts of the 69-home project proposed by developer SummerHill Homes for the Magee Ranch property at the corner of Diablo and McCauley roads.
The council's decision was announced following closed-session deliberations Tuesday morning, almost a month after council members approved an appeal for a different aspect of the unfavorable ruling. Councilman Newell Arnerich was absent from Tuesday's meeting.
Danville Mayor Robert Storer said late Tuesday that town officials believe they properly addressed concerns about bike-safety impacts associated with the housing project.
"As a primary mitigation measure, the developer will incorporate the trail parallel to Diablo Road from about Green Valley/McCauley Road to Jullian (the project's entrance). We are also looking at ways and options to cross the road to get to Mt. Diablo," the mayor wrote in an email.
Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Steven K. Austin, in his final ruling filed July 28, disagreed with the town's bicycle-safety analysis.
"The (town's) response appears to be based on the assumption that because the existing conditions are dangerous for bicycles, any added danger would not be a significant impact; but it does not provide any statistics about actual or projected numbers, or severity, of accidents," Austin wrote. "Nor does the response mention the possibility of any mitigation measure."
Attorney Stuart Flashman -- who represents environmental advocacy group SOS-Danville, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit -- did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.
Flashman said in mid-August that his clients were debating whether to file a counter-appeal of Austin's decision, which was a mixed ruling for each side.
The judge ruled in favor of SOS-Danville when he found the council improperly rezoned agricultural land at the project site without first seeking a general plan amendment to change the agricultural land-use designation.
Town officials argue the council's July 2013 project approval was in line with Danville General Plan policies for the Magee Ranch property. Council members voted unanimously on Aug. 12 to appeal Austin's ruling on the rezone.
Austin did side with the town in July when he denied SOS-Danville's claims that town officials failed to adequately address cumulative traffic impacts, consideration of project alternatives, and potential impacts to traffic on Diablo Road, California red-legged frogs, and emergency access and evacuation.
The town expects to file its appeal, encompassing both issues, with the state's Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District in the next week or so, City Attorney Rob Ewing said Tuesday.