A lawsuit challenging approval of the 6,000-acre, 22,500-unit Sunrise Douglas community plan and a related specific plan in Rancho Cordova has been tossed out by the Third District Court of Appeal.

Sacramento County in 2002 approved the huge development on land controlled mostly by AKT Development (see CP&DR Local Watch, August 2002). Since then, Rancho Cordova has incorporated and gained jurisdiction over the site south of the Highway 50 corridor.

The Environmental Council of Sacramento and Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth argued that the environmental impact report was inadequate and that the water supply was in question. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Raymond Cadei ruled against the opponents. The groups then got smacked down at the Third District, which rebuked their legal tactics.

“Petitioners [the opponents] do not have to believe the county's evidence, but as appellants they have a duty to confront it. As developer and the city point out, petitioners make many such misstatements and omissions,” Justice Fred Morrison wrote in an unpublished opinion. “Because petitioners fail to state the facts fairly as to most of the issues they raise, we conclude most of their claims have been forfeited.”

The case is Vineyard Area Citizens for Responsible Growth v. City of Rancho Cordova, No. C044653.

The City of Sausalito and the National Park Service have settled a long-running disagreement over the future of Fort Baker, a former Army base just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nearly five years ago, the Park Service approved a plan that called for a 350-room hotel and conference center, revenues from which would fund restoration of historic sites and public amenities. City officials fought the size of the hotel, mostly because area streets are already choked with traffic. Last year, the city won a ruling at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the Park Service plan appeared to conflict with a San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission plan for the site (City of Sausalito v. O'Neill, 386 F.3d 1186; see CP&DR Legal Digest, December 2004).

In exchange for the city's dropping the litigation, the Park Service agreed to reduce the size of the hotel to a maximum of 225 rooms. In fact, the latest plan from developer Equity Community Builders calls for no more than 185 rooms.