Legal Strategies Shift on the Front Lines of the Bay Area's Housing Debate

The threat of a lawsuit by the California Renters Legal Advocacy has the city of Dublin rethinking a housing proposal that would add 220 units near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.

2 minute read

January 22, 2018, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Suburban California

Dublin, California | Vlad Valeye / Shutterstock

The Dublin City Council was "headed toward rejecting a proposed 220-unit condominium development near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station," until the California Renters Legal Advocacy showed up.

Ron McNicoll reports on the unfolding political and legal saga of the Ashton at Dublin development. The council voted 4-1 in December to reject the proposed project, with different councilmembers citing different reasons for no votes. One councilmember cited building height, and another cited building materials. However, Vice-Mayor Don Biddle, who cast the lone no vote, said the project is already vested and is exactly the kind of development that should be approved near a transit station.

Dublin City Attorney john Bakker is also cited in the article warning the council that the city could be liable under the state’s Housing Accountability Act (HAA), and the California Renters Legal Advocacy has put the city on notice that they plan to do so, as reported by McNicoll:

Victoria Fierce, Executive Director of the California Renters Legal Advocacy (CaRLA), told the council that unless the city is very careful and specific about reasons for rejecting the map, the group could sue the city. It’s possible that CaRLA could gain $10,000 per unit, if it were successful in such a suit, said Fierce. That would amount to $2.2 million for the development, Ashton at Dublin Station.

The Dublin City Council has since decided to table its decision on the project, but the California Renters Legal Advocacy is still working this legal angle in other parts of the Bay Area, namely Lafayette, Sausalito, and Berkeley. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018 in The Independent

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Green meadow with water running through and trees on either side in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite Meadow Undergoing Major Restoration

Rangeland recently acquired from private owners is being restored to a more natural state thanks to a purchase by the Trust for Public Land.

June 17 - San Francisco Chronicle

Large black SYV driving down city street with blurred background.

GAO to Investigate How Vehicle Design Impacts Safety

A lax set of rules around vehicle size, height, and other factors is partly responsible for the alarming rise in pedestrian deaths in the United States.

June 17 - Streetsblog USA

Worker in yellow safety suit holding up orange SLOW sign on road

New Orleans Faces $1 Billion Shortfall for FEMA-Funded Roadwork

After years of delays, cost overruns, and deadline extensions on a FEMA-funded street repair program, New Orleans officials face a massive funding shortfall and accusations of mismanagement.

June 17 -

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.