The Ninth Circuit rejects a billboard developer’s challenge to Alameda County’s sign ordinance and upholds a rare award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing defendant on the grounds that the lawsuit was frivolous. (Citizens for Free Speech, LLC v. County of Alameda, 953 F.3d 655 (9th Cir. 2020).)
In 2018, on behalf of the City of San Jose, the firm drafts and defends a first-of-its kind charter amendment to prevent a developer-sponsored initiative from gutting the City’s General Plan.
The firm and Earthjustice prevail in challenging an initiative that purported to approve a development agreement for the World Logistics Center, a massive warehouse project near low-income communities in Riverside County. The court of appeal holds that local initiatives may not be used to adopt development agreements. (Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. […]
The firm successfully defends the City of Berkeley’s Civic Center Historic District and protects the historic Berkeley Main Post Office from conversion to a commercial use. (U.S. Postal Service v. City of Berkeley (2018).) Photo: Image from Foursquare [ANDREW S. – NEED TO OBTAIN PERMISSION]
The Court rejected a billboard developer’s challenge to Alameda County’s sign ordinance, and upheld a rare award of attorneys’ fees to a prevailing defendant, on the grounds the lawsuit was frivolous. Read the court’s opinion at https://www.smwlaw.com/files/Citizens_Free_Speech_v._County_of_Alameda.pdf Photo: Tim Evanson, Creative Commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
On behalf of the Solano County Orderly Growth Committee, the firm successfully challenges Solano County’s approval of a large subdivision development proposed on lands serving as an important buffer between urban development and working farms and natural open space. The Project would have required water and sewer services from the City of Fairfield in contravention […]
On behalf of Save Our Historic Town Center, the firm successfully challenges a massive development in the heart of downtown San Juan Capistrano that is flatly inconsistent with the City’s general plan policies for that historic area. (Save Our Historic Town Center v. City of San Juan Capistrano (2016).)
The Art & Garden Center opens at the Wilder playfields in Orinda in 2016 — a substantial community amenity resulting from a Development Agreement negotiated by the firm following its successful defense of a takings case brought by the developer against the City.
The firm prevails in the court of appeal in a case of first impression challenging Contra Costa County’s approval of a subdivision on agricultural land adjacent to Marsh Creek State Park without Subdivision Map Act compliance. (Save Mount Diablo v. Contra Costa County, 240 Cal.App.4th 1368 (2015).)
The firm advises Orinda in its successful 2014 collaboration with the developer of a 67-unit, senior affordable apartment complex on the City’s former library site.