On January 16, 2019, the California Court of Appeals dismissed the Post Sustainability lawsuit against ABAG/MTC by opinion as moot.
Post Sustainability Institute: The Surviving Lawsuit
Soon after the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) approved Plan Bay Area in July 2013, opponents of the Plan filed lawsuits. Of the four lawsuits filed, two were settled out of court, one lost on appeal, and one is still active and awaiting oral arguments at the California Court of Appeals District 1.
The surviving legal challenge to Plan Bay Area is The Post Sustainability Institute et al. v. Association of Bay Area Governments et al, Case, No. A144815. At present, the last Order filed was on 01/30/18, in response to an MTC/ABAG (Respondents) request for dismissal of the case. The Order:
Respondents' motion to dismiss appeal and request for judicial notice in support thereof, filed on August 14, 2017, which are opposed, are taken under submission and will be decided with the merits of the appeal.
In other words, the case is still alive, and we at the Nine-County Coalition hope our readers consider supporting the efforts of the Plaintiffs, Rosa Koire and Michael Shaw, in moving this case forward. You can find more information on the case at StopPlanBayArea.com
Background: What is this Case About and Why Still in Appellate Court?
Unlike the other three lawsuits filed against ABAG and MTC, this case seeks to prove that Plan Bay Area claims to be able to accomplish an unfeasible feat, denies Bay Area residents equal protection, undermines private property, and aims gradually to modify California’s Constitutional representative government to allow for rule by unelected bureaucrats.
The Globalization of California website explains the central Constitutional issues involved in this case.
“The real question is, is the Appellate Court going to protect the Constitutional form of government in California?
The structure of government is the issue raised by our lawsuit. The Court’s facing a tough decision, because to do the right thing, it has to neutralize AB 32 and SB 375, and neutralize ABAG — the COG creating the prototype designed to globalize America through unelected and unaccountable councils.
Thus, the long delays, since a lot is at stake. However, regardless of the Appellate Court’s decision, the losing party will appeal to the State’s Supreme Court.
Attorneys in the Case
Principal attorney for Plaintiffs/Appellants Rosa Koire and Michael Shaw is Timothy V. Kassouni of Kassouni Law. The law firm engages in several practice areas, among which are Constitutional Law and Land Use Law.
Principal attorney for Respondents ABAG/MTC is Tina Thomas of Thomas Law. The firm also has several practice areas, including Environmental Law and Local Government Law. Ms. Thomas’ bio on the Thomas Law website reads,
Tina’s work extends beyond the traditional role of attorney, shaping not only land use legislation, but also the way it is practiced and understood…Additionally, Tina played an extensive role in the passage of California Senate Bill 375, authored by Senator Darrell Steinberg, which encourages smart growth and infill development.
Links to Opening Briefs
Post Sustainability Institute et al v. Association of Bay Area Governments et al filed opening briefs worth reading. The briefs sum up what is at the heart of Plan Bay Area’s egregiousness from a Constitutional framework point of view. We summarized the opening brief in the initial California Superior Court filing as introduction, and quoted the “Conclusion” of the opening Appellate Court brief. Read More.
Moving this Case Forward
The Nine-County Coalition has received communications from Bay Area residents unhappy with the relentless bureaucratic talk about "sustainable communities," cities' and counties' loss of local control over land use, upending of neighborhoods due to imposition of transit-oriented development, and numerous bills enabling further entrenchment of the Plan Bay Area concept. One way to fight is to litigate. May we count on your support of Post Sustainability Institute et al v. Association of Bay Area Governments et al?