Client Successes Dec 12, 2014

BB&K Attorneys Successfully Defend City Client from Brown Act and Other Claims

Appellate Court Upholds City of Ontario’s Lower Court Victory

In Ontario Mountain Village Association et al v. City of Ontario, Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys Michelle Ouellette, Richard T. Egger and Sarah Owsowitz successfully defended the legality of an ordinance by the City of Ontario that extended by one-year the expiration dates for all development plans, conditional use permits and variance approvals. The extension was challenged in a lawsuit on the alleged grounds that the City violated the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The plaintiffs also alleged violation of their due process rights.

The lawsuit was filed after the City approved extension of the expiration dates in December 2011 — as it had done several times previously to support development and economic recovery in the City. The plaintiffs claimed the City violated the Brown Act, which guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies, and their due process rights by failing to disclose a legal memorandum. They also alleged the City violated CEQA by not substantiating that the ordinance extending the expiration dates was exempt from environmental review, among other claims.

As the trial court had done, the 2nd District Court of Appeal, in an opinion issued Dec. 11, sided with BB&K attorneys and rejected all the plaintiffs’ claims.

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