Grassroots Alhambra is announcing that it has filed a lawsuit against the City of Alhambra and The Charles Company challenging the improper approval by the City of Alhambra of the Alhambra Court Development. The Charles Company seeks to develop approximately 12 acres of land at 1111 South Fremont Avenue without conducting a full and proper Environmental Impact Report (EIR), among other deficiencies including improper zoning. The project includes a Lowe's home improvement store, two six-story office buildings and a parking structure located in one of the most congested and contaminated areas in the city of Alhambra.
On January 17, 2017 the Alhambra Planning Commission approved the project despite considerable public opposition. A group of community members subsequently appealed the decision to the Alhambra City Council. On February 27, 2017 the Alhambra City Council held a hearing on the appeal and unanimously upheld the planning commission’s decision to move the project forward. Grassroots Alhambra opposes the approval decision by the City of Alhambra. Grassroots Alhambra seeks to invalidate the City of Alhambra's approval on the grounds that the City of Alhambra violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and zoning requirements as outlined in the city’s General Plan and Municipal Code. Grassroots Alhambra is also concerned about potential conflicts of interest by the law firm Burke, Williams, and Sorensen in its role advising both the Alhambra Planning Commission and the Alhambra City Council.
The project site abuts the most congested traffic corridor in Alhambra and regionally. Grassroots Alhambra believes that the approval of this project using a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) instead of an EIR is a clear violation of CEQA. Relying on flawed and unsupported assumptions, the MND wrongly and misleadingly concludes that project impacts including traffic and others can be reduced to insignificance, thereby avoiding an EIR.
Grassroots Alhambra is not against the project but the manner in which it was approved. As Dr. Ron Sahu, a citizen who made the presentation to the City Council, stated “We take strong exception to the mischaracterization of our position that Grassroots Alhambra is against development in general, or against Lowes, or against this developer. This is patently false. We are simply against the illegal manner in which the City of Alhambra sought to approve the project.”
Grassroots Alhambra is represented in this action by Cory J. Briggs of Briggs Law Corporation.
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