An Alameda County Superior Court judge last Friday ruled against the petitioners suing the city of Pleasanton for a second time over environmental approvals for the proposed Costco and overarching Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone, potentially ending the lawsuit and clearing the way for the project to move forward — though an appeal period is still in play.
The lawsuit filed in March by the Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth, a group spearheaded by former city councilman Matt Sullivan, challenged the adequacy of the city’s second round of environmental review that occurred after a settlement in PCRG’s prior lawsuit in 2018 and that the City Council approved in February in the hopes of advancing the project.
At issue in the hearing last week was whether the city adequately considered the cumulative air quality and traffic impacts on the JDEDZ caused by three proposed or pending projects in neighboring Dublin: the IKEA store, Kaiser Permanente medical campus and At Dublin, according to Pleasanton city attorney Dan Sodergren.
“At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge (Frank) Roesch ruled in the city’s favor and denied the petition for writ of mandate. Judge Roesch found that there is substantial evidence to support the analysis contained in the Recirculated Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report for the (JDEDZ),” Sodergren told the Weekly.
The ruling, which is still subject to a final order by Roesch to follow soon, effectively concludes the lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court, although the petitioners would have up to 60 days to appeal the decision to the state’s Court of Appeal, according to Sodergren.