First a heartfelt thank you to all of your support. We really appreciate all the time and donations. We couldn’t have come this far without you!
The Lawsuit Judgement
Our first hearing in April broached the State’s Park’s Preservation Act. The City appealed to the judge’s sense of Government by stating that Save Sunnyvale Parks had no standing as the City was a Charter City, not subject to the Preservation Act. Additionally, the City claimed that in 1979, Raynor was not in use as a park. The judge agreed and dismissed our arguments. We have a variety of appeals issues which we are preparing, and we have since found proof that Raynor was, indeed, in use as a park in 1979.
The second hearing in August centered on CEQA issues (California Environmental Quality Act). The City argued that CEQA wasn’t required until a specific plan of development was brought to them. The Judge again sided with the City on this issue.
Additionally, the City claimed that the public did not petition the City properly. The City claimed, and the Judge concurred, simply asking questions about the law (such as environmental impact, traffic, etc) was not enough, and that members of the public must actually state, by name, that the City was violating the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Let’s repeat that: While the public brought up issues that the CEQA law covers, the City and the Judge decided that we didn’t say enough. This is a big deal: as it seems ordinary citizens need to know all of city, county and state laws, and have attorney-reviewed public statements in order to talk with their elected officials. Otherwise, the public “did not address the issue properly”.
What We are Doing About It
We adamantly think the above decision is wrong. So wrong, that we have filed a Constitutional Challenge to this decision. This is the first part of our appeal – an unconstitutional infringement of the Right To Petition Government For Redress Of Grievances (Article 1, Section 3(a) of the Constitution of the State of California)
We also believe we have additional standing on the Parks Preservation Act, as the City and the Judge ruled about the transfer of the Sale from a Charter City (Sunnyvale) to a Private Entity. That is not the the issue at hand. Rather, when the park sold in 1979, it was sold from Santa Clara Unified School District. SCUSD is *not* a charter city, rather a public entity, selling public land. Thus, the property should have been bound by this Act, from 1979 until today.
Our lawyer is still working on the filings, and we hope that the District Court takes up our appeal. At this time, our lawsuit is considered lost, but not over.
Sincerely and Thanks Again for your Support,
Save Sunnyvale Parks and Schools, Inc.