Skip to comments.Half Moon Bay to fight judgment of nearly $37 million
Posted on 12/19/2007 9:00:53 AM PST by Navy Patriot
(12-19) 05:46 PST Half Moon Bay, Calif. (AP) --
Officials in Half Moon Bay will fight a court ruling that would have the city pay a judgment of nearly $37 million.
The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire a San Francisco law firm to appeal a ruling by a federal judge ordering the city to pay $36.8 million to Palo Alto-based developer Charles Keenan.
The judgment is nearly four times the city's annual budget. City council members said in a joint statement the order threatens the "very existence of our city government."
The ruling against Half Moon Bay involves a dispute over the purchase of coastal property in 1993 by Keenan.
Keenan had intended on building a subdivsion, but was blocked when it was determined the property was a protected wetlands area.
He sued, successfully arguing that drainage work by the city had created the wetlands.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Of course, they opt to make it worse.
Perhaps the City of Fresno had better take notice of this story.
“Gentlemen, gentlemen. We must do something to protect our phoney baloney jobs. Hurrumph Hurrumph!” - Hedley lamaar
You sure that wasn’t the Hon. William J. Lepetomaine that said that?
I would like to have seen this project go forward. I know that there are people who have been ruined financially. However, I could not support taking the land by force and turning it over to a private developer. That being said, Mr. Ho has as much right to buy and sell at a profit as anyone else. However, he is unlikely to get a better deal than the city offered anytime soon.
Ninth circus may overturn, and SCOTUS may uphold.
The increase in costs will certainly doom HMB as a city if they lose this appeal.
Admitting wrongdoing, and negotiating with the property owner would certainly save the city, but not their jobs.
It’s a good start. More governments in California need to be put out of business.
The court found that the City actively interfered with his ownership by first getting the property declared a wetland (or similar protected status) by the State when previously it had not been listed as such, and then proposed modest relief of buying it from him at a price similar to what he paid but one twentieth of its current market value as development property.
I have a friend that lives in a housing development there that I understand is on the ocean side of the highway and this is on the non-ocean side of the same highway.
I looked at the map that was posted and it shows that as you drive north, the property is east of the highway, separated from the ocean. It is bounded on the north and south by other developed sections. It was amazing that this particular piece of property could miraculously be a wetlands when the property on either side of it could not! (I'm sure the judge noticed that too!)
Let the city go bankrupt as a warning to other petty jackasses in other city governments.
If you have the time, the other thread as a link to the entire court decision which I just skimmed.
It appears that HMB was very crude and manipulative in the view of the Judge in all the mechanizations they attemped after they had done their damage.
The actions of the city and environmentalists conspiracy are egregious examples of fraud and theft.
The citizens of HMB may (and should) revolt and put these criminals out of office with a recall. There is a case to be made for removing sovereign immunity from politicians to control these cabals.
Finally, a judge ruling correctly on land use issues.
After the developer purchased it, the city implemented a "drainage" project for this and adjoining properties.
The city removed a large amount of fill from this man's property and left a closed ended trench on it. The fill went raise other property that the city wanted higher (one wonders why). As soon as the winter rains came and the trench puddled, the city moved to have it declared a "wetland" and sent the HMB police to prevent the owner's attempts to drain the city created trench.
The city literally stole this man's property (the fill) so they could steal his property.
They couldn't avoid the perception of impropriety here, but probably thought they could get away with it because environazis caught planting evidence in the past have been given a pass when caught. Just use a bulldozer to "reveal" a wetland.
You're right about the money, it enabled the judge to see the facts, and he didn't buy the envirolies this time.
Is there much hand-wringing going on in HMB or do they think that the 9th Circuit will simply throw out the award and save their bacon?
HMB is an older seaside community primarily formed by hardworking immigrant families building farms, ranches, fishing (commercial and sport) on a larger seaside stretch that also supports logging, quarrying, and small amounts of mining.
Originally invaluable producers, there were hopes of a bedroom community for San Francisco, but geographic problems throttled speedy commute access. The early envirowackos obstructed road construction and much suburban expansion bypassed HBM. Still 60's leftie yuppies moved in and eventually outvoted the bluecollar/semi-rural locals.
Coming from the big cities, and knowing how to chisel and cheat, the locals were easy pickings for the leftie manipulators. They turned the city government into what the left always does, a device to remove wealth from the pockets of the citizens and deliver it to insider cronies of the city officeholders and bureaucrats. Not many of the originals who built the value of the community remain, and their children are more technologically educated, and have left the area.
Mrs. Patriot was born and raised there, was an unimproved property owner, but sold before the wackos could devalue the property. The current owner lives on the property with his family in a trailer home, and cannot get a permit to build his dream home under any circumstances. In a draw, a small stream that runs only in winter, makes the 130 acre parcel a wetland that cannot tolerate one R1 home.
It is hard to say exactly how many of the citizens would demand a recall. Certainly most of the Johnnie come lately envirowackos would not, they would lose dictatorial power and insider benefits. The few remaining good guys can't win whether or not they kick out the city council, the city still has to pay the judgment and the new lawyers to appeal.
The council undoubtedly thinks the Ninth Circus will overturn, but there's a new SCOTUS in town and the property owner will probably take it there, (he has threatened to enforce the full judgment if the city appealed instead of negotiating with him, and they appealed). SCOTUS may uphold (probably), but the environazis will just move their obstruction to county levels as all the wacko envirolaws still remain. The only improvement is the city fathers will be out of work and have to start spending their graft.
Ya know if an employee of a company were to improperly package a DOT hazmat shipment that company AND THE EMPLOYEE CAN BE FINED.
I think it’s high time that if a polidiot breaks the law the taxpayer should NOT have to bear the burden of all costs.
If one wants to be a seditious polidiot and pander to a paying pc populace vs following the law ?
Pay up out of their own pockets......
The goal is Ayn Rands observation that "the government has no power over an honest man". So let's make everybody a criminal as defined by the criminals themselves.
Republicans are no less guilty of this than DemoRats.
Don't be holdin' your breath watin' for an improvement.