The Richmond City Council will vote on November 5 in open session to approve a settlement agreement it approved in closed session in April of 2018. The action is intended to resolve any lingering accusations that the City violated the Brown Act by previously acting in closed session.
The City was sued by SPRAWLDEF, Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP), and four Richmond residents, claiming the City violated the Brown Act when it approved the settlement agreement in closed session.
The Brown Act allows cities to settle a lawsuit in closed session as long as the settlement agreement becomes a public document, which was done for Point Molate. Furthermore, the Federal Court admonished the parties to keep discussions of the settlement terms confidential until it was final.
The SPRAWLDEF claimants also allege that the settlement conferred development entitlements that cannot be granted in closed session.
The hearing and vote on November 5 will resolve the Brown Act issue as well as the entitlement issue. The original settlement agreement will be amended to make it abundantly clear that no land use entitlement are being granted and can only be granted following CEQA review and multiple public hearings.
Below is the text of the Notice of Public Hearing:
CITY OF RICHMOND NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING POINT MOLATE (APN: 561-100-008)
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council of the City of Richmond will conduct a hearing to consider and vote on an Amended Judgment in connection with the litigation entitled The Guidiville Rancheria of Cal. et al. v. The United States of America, et al., No. CV 12-1326 YGR (N.D. Cal.).
Present litigation against the City, entitled SPRAWLDEF et al. v. City of Richmond et al., No. 18-cv-03918-YGR (N.D. Cal.), alleges that the original Judgment settling the Guidiville Rancheria lawsuit provided entitlements to develop at Point Molate, and that the City violated the Brown Act by failing to vote on the settlement in open session. The City does not believe that a Brown Act violation has occurred, or that the Judgment grants any entitlements regarding development at Point Molate. Language has been added to the Amended Judgment clarifying and reconfirming that any development at Point Molate, including the granting of any entitlements, will require further public hearings and community input. All persons having objections to or wishing to speak in support of this item may appear and be heard before the City Council in the Council Chamber at 440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, California, at 6:30 p.m., or as soon thereafter, on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
Pamela Christian, Clerk of the City of Richmond
Date: October 23, 2019
Publish: October 26, 2019