Statement Regarding Superior Court Decision on Downtown Livermore
February 9, 2022
Eden Housing, Inc.
Livermore Downtown Project
February 7, 2022
Eden Housing and the City of Livermore have been working together to build 130 new affordable apartment homes on a city-owned site in downtown Livermore. The site was acquired by the City in 2009 for use as affordable housing and the City adopted zoning to enable this development. In 2021, the City of Livermore unanimously approved Eden’s development plan with significant support from the community and community business leaders. Save Livermore Downtown (SLD), an unincorporated association claiming to be comprised of local residents, filed a lawsuit claiming the City’s approval of Eden’s project violated the California Environmental Quality Act and California Planning and Zoning Law.
Eden and the City have always recognized that this action was brought to delay the development of badly needed affordable housing to serve the local workforce. In September of 2021, Eden asked the Court to impose a bond against SLD pursuant to California Civil Code Section 529.2, which authorizes such a bond when challenges to affordable housing projects are brought for the purpose of delay. The Court agreed that SLD appears to have brought the suit to delay affordable housing and ordered SLD to post a $500,000 bond for damages caused by its lawsuit.
On Friday, February 4, 2022, SLD’s CEQA and Planning and Zoning Law claims were presented to the Alameda County Superior Court. We were pleased that the court, as an impartial observer, concurred with our own assessment that SLD’s challenges lack merit. After reviewing the parties’ briefs and listening to the arguments of counsel, the court denied SLD’s claims and ordered that judgment be entered in favor of the City and Eden. In fact, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court observed that SLD’s claims are “almost utterly without merit” and that rejecting the claims they had presented was “not a close call.”
Statement of Linda Mandolini, President & CEO, Eden Housing, Regarding Superior Court Decision on Downtown Livermore
“While we at Eden are pleased with the Court’s decision, we would vastly have preferred to be proceeding with the construction of this development in 2022. The delays created by this action required Eden to return a $68 million award of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Had we been able to retain that award, we would be starting construction later this year. Instead, we will be starting over to apply for this funding. Alameda County and the greater Bay Area Region face an affordable housing crisis of epic proportion. Developments like the one correctly approved by the City of Livermore provide permanent affordable housing that helps solve the region’s affordable housing shortage.”
Statement of Mayor Bob Woerner, City of Livermore, Regarding Superior Court Decision
“I wish to reiterate that when the lawsuit was filed last June, I said it was meritless. In October, my view was bolstered when the court ruled on the motion requiring them to post a bond for damages. Now, the court has definitively ruled that indeed their claims were meritless. I firmly believe it would be best for the community if they would stop these extremely divisive and futile delaying tactics and let us move forward.”