Seeno’s attorneys request new trial following Save Mount Diablo legal victory against Faria project in Pittsburg hills
607-acre, 1,650-home development next to planned Thurgood Marshall Regional Park – SMD leader says motion for new trial “should be denied”
Contra Costa Herald, by Allen D. Payton, March 3, 2022
Last Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, attorneys representing Discovery Builders and their Faria new home development requested a new trial for the lawsuit by Save Mount Diablo, following a judge’s decision in favor of the environmental group to stop the project. As previously reported, on March 30, 2021, Save Mount Diablo filed a lawsuit challenging the City of Pittsburg’s approval of the 1,650-unit Faria project, on the ridgeline between Pittsburg and Concord. According to the agenda item documents, the master plan overlay district encompasses approximately 607 acres of land. (See related article)
The motion for a new trial was filed “on the basis that the Court’s decision is not supported by the evidence and controlling legal authorities. Specifically…that there were several portions of this Court’s February 10, 2022, Statement of Decision that may not have fully considered evidence in the administrative record.” In addition, the motion asks that the “Court vacate its Statement of Decision and enter a new decision denying SMD’s motion” and “conduct a new hearing”. Faria project Motion for New Trial Parsons Dec. ISO Mot for New Trial Raskin Dec. ISO Mot for New Trial Faria project new trial Proof of Service
A hearing date on the motion for a new trial has been set for April 14, 2022.
On the day of the decision, Save Mount Diablo issued the following press release about their legal victory: [Previously published here on BenIndy, see Save Mount Diablo Wins Major Legal Victory Against Seeno to Protect Pittsburg’s Hills.]
Save Mount Diablo Says Motion for New Trial “Should Be Denied”
Asked about the motion for a new trial, Save Mount Diablo Executive Director, Ted Clement responded, “Regarding the Seeno companies/Pittsburg request for a new trial, the Court has already rejected their arguments for reasons fully set forth in its decision. Their Motion for New Trial does not question the adequacy of the administrative record on which the Court properly based its decision (and which the City itself prepared) or suggest there was any other irregularity or unfairness in the hearing. Instead, they seek a second bite of the apple.”
“Their Motion reargues issues that were fully briefed and addressed in the Court’s Decision,” he continued. “They also seek to introduce irrelevant and improper extra-record evidence, violating black letter law that CEQA actions must be decided on the record that was before the agency when it made its decision.”
“Because their Motion provides no basis for this Court to order a new trial solely on the issues decided adverse to them, it should be denied,” Clement concluded.