“Save Livermore Downtown” group ordered to post $500,000 bond

By Joseph Geha, Bay Area News Group, November 8, 2021

“The group sued Livermore in June over the City Council’s decision to approve a 130-unit affordable apartment complex, alleging the project is ‘inconsistent’ with … Livermore’s downtown plan and … needs further environmental analysis of contamination on the site.

“[N]onprofit developer … Eden Housing asked the court to order Save Livermore Downtown to post a $500,000 bond to help offset ‘costs and damages’ … while the lawsuit proceeds.

“[The] project was in line for $68 million worth of financing through state and federal tax credit programs, but that funding can’t be accepted and used if the project is delayed because of a lawsuit. The project is also set to receive about $14.4 million [from] Alameda County, but those funds require the project to start construction by the end of 2022.

“Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch ruled in Eden’s favor, ordering that the $500,000 bond be posted.

“Under state law, the developer of an affordable housing project can ask the courts to impose a bond up to a maximum of $500,000 on people or organizations that file lawsuits against the development in bad faith … 

“The judge wrote that the group waited until ‘the very last moment’ possible to file their lawsuit … He said because the group has ‘at least 50 people contributing money to it,’ it wouldn’t face economic hardship by having to post the bond.

“The downtown group [filed] a motion with the First District Court of Appeal, asking for Roesch’s decision to be put on hold. But the three-judge court of appeals panel upheld Roesch’s ruling.”

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