A lawsuit that has already reached the state Supreme Court is again making its way up the legal ladder. In mid-December, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Bob McNatt upheld the San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission's approval of the Califia project (formerly called Gold Rush City) in the City of Lathrop. Last year, the state Supreme Court allowed the case to go forward after McNatt and the Third District Court of Appeal ruled that project opponents did not exhaust their administrative remedies as required under an obscure procedural rule. The state's high court said the "Alexander rule" was not applicable and reinstated the lawsuit. (See CP&DR Legal Digest, October 1999, August 1998.) McNatt ruled that LAFCO need not prepare a supplement EIR. But project opponents said they were asking LAFCO to exercise its independent judgement and to adopt its own findings and mitigation measures — not to prepare a supplement EIR. They contend that the project EIR improperly defers an analysis of water availability, and they promised to appeal the ruling. Califia proposes building about 5,800 homes and several theme parks on 6,000 acres in the Bay Delta that Lathrop annexed. In November, city voters changed the development agreement to allow Califia to build the houses before constructing the theme parks and other commercial developments that were projected to provide thousands of jobs. The case is Sierra Club v. San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission, No. CV001997.