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. 

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