Monday, February 10, 2020

Fowler v. City of Lafayette (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 10, 2020)

Sure, I've got a 5 bedroom, 6 bath place in Lafayette (in the Bay Area) on a couple of acres.  With a tennis court, of course.  But how can I entertain properly if I don't have a "tennis cabana" next to the thing?  A thousand-plus square foot cabana, to be precise.

But my stinking neighbors don't want it.  So they oppose my zoning application with the City, which gets some traction.  So I have my attorney -- with the totally hip name David Bowie -- threaten the City repeatedly with litigation if they deny my application.  And, in the end, the City caves, and goes ahead and approves the project on a 4-1 vote.

But my stinking neighbors don't relent.  They file a Brown Act claim that says that the City didn't reveal the litigation threat in the open meeting even though this was required.  Which the Court of Appeal ultimately agrees with.  But holds that there's no remedy since there's no concrete showing of prejudice; i.e., that the City would have done anything differently in an open meeting.  (Which is also probably true in virtually every other Brown Act case.)

Such is the life of Michael and Diane Archer.  (I won't mention what of which Bay Area company Mike Archer is the CEO.)

First world problems, for sure.

Anyway, fear not.  The tennis cabana is safe.