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Suit Documents

Currently CARRQ and a few affected parties are in the midst of legal proceedings against the County of Sonoma and John Barella, the quarry developer. 

On December 14, 2010 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the Roblar Quarry and asphalt recycling operation on a 3 to 2 vote, authorizing a use permit, zoning change from LEA to MR overlay zone, mitigation plan, and a statement of overriding reasons as required by CEQA.

In the same vote, the County supervisors also approved a controversial move to allow required mitigation of endangered amphibious species, California Tiger Salamander and California Red-legged frog, on land already protected and preserved by the Open Space District, for which the quarry developer was paid $2.3 million by county taxpayers. 

This page lists downloadable documents for your reference, research, and use.

Challenging the Quarry Environmental Impact Report Under CEQA

Update: CARRQ Wins Lawsuit Challenging EIR!!

On August 2, Superior Court Judge Daum issued a final ruling in our favor on the four major areas noted in his tentative ruling (below).  This is a significant win toward protecting the rural quality of life, open space and agricultural land in Sonoma County.  The 34-page court decision is a vindication of the long-term efforts by CARRQ and other people who questioned the County's environmental reveiw process of teh Roblar Rock Quarry. 

CARRQ hopes the County and quarry owner will accept this ruling and end the plan for a quarry on Roblar Road.  However, we anticipate they will appeal this decision.  If the County chooses to continue the process with a new EIR to address the various inadequacies of the current one, we hope the review and any further hearings on a new one will be transparent and open to the public.

Filed: Aug. 2, 2012    Final Ruling

Press Release

Press Democrat Article

Suit Heard June 22, 2012

In January 2011, CARRQ, with co-petitioner Friends of Americano Creek, filed a lawsuit against Sonoma County challenging the Board of Supervisors' approval of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR)  for the Roblar Road Quarry in December, 2010. 

Various motions were filed by the County for dismissal and CARRQ for a pre-emptory challenge.  A settlement conference was ordered by the Court and the issues were not resolved. Dates were set by the Court to proceed with preparation of the administrative record, filing of briefs and Court hearing. 


Rulings:

Filed: June 20, 2012 Tentative Ruling
Superior Court Judge Elliot Daum issued a tentative ruling agreeing with CARRQ on four major points of our lawsuit

Motions Filed:

Filed: January 13, 2011   Notice of Commencement of Action

Filed January 13, 2011    Writ of Mandate

Filed January 17, 2012   CARRQ vs. County of Sonoma and John Barella

Public Records Act Request

In March 2011, CARRQ filed a motion asking that all documents the Board of Supervisors and County agencies generated or maintained over the past 8 years related to the quarry project be open to the public and placed in the Administrative Record. 

The County refused this request claiming many of the documents were Privileged, or that they had been purged as part of the County's document retention plan.   Superior Court Judge Daum ruled against us without even looking at the documents, so CARRQ filed an appeal to his ruling in November 2011.  This motion appeal is still pending.

Filed May 7, 2010  Public Records Act lawsuit

CARRQ Wins Suit to Retain Pro Bono Lawfirm

Decided June 21, 2011.  After filing our initial lawsuit quarry owner John Barella attempted to have our counsel, Morgan Lewis, disqualified as our pro bono attorney citing a conflict of interest.  As disclosed in the court documents, Barella is a major investor in Basin Street Properties, a large development firm that has built and/or owns many properties in Petaluma.  The corporation had been represented by Morgan Lewis for many years.  Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Daum ruled against Barella's motion saying there was no evidence presented of a true conflict of interest and that there was no damage done to Barella by CARRQ's relationship with Morgan Lewis. This was a significant win for CARRQ because we would not have been able to afford to continue legal actions to oppose the quarry if the court ruled against us.

This lawsuit attracted considerable coverage by local media including the Press Democrat, the Petaluma Argus Courier, the online Petaluma Patch, and the west county Bohemian, primarily because the extent of Barella's role with Basin Street was divulged, including that he had used the quarry property as collateral for a major loan to the corporation.

Decision:

Filed March 2011   Denial of Motion to Disqualify Morgan Lewis

Still Fighting the County's "Interpretation" of a Tax-paid Conservation Easement Benefitting Developer

Expect Hearing to be Held Spring/Summer 2012

On January 13, 2011, CARRQ and local ranchers with conservation easements, Joe and Kathy Tresch and Ken and Nancy Mazzetta, filed suit against the County of Sonoma, the County of Sonoma Board of Supervisors, and County of Sonoma Permit Resources and Management over the approval of the open space mitigation preserve on publicly protected Roblar Ranch. 

We challenged that, as part of the quarry approval, the mitigation of endangered species protection on public land is required to have undergone an EIR study under CEQA guidelines.

Superior Court Judge Elliott Daum denied CARRQ's motion without a hearing.  We have appealed his decision and expect a hearing in the State Appellate Court sometime in the spring/summer of 2012.

Motions Filed:

Filed January 13, 2011  Writ of Mandate

Filed January 26, 2012. Appeal filed in State Appellate District, Division Four,  from Judgment entered Aug. 16, 2011, Superior Court Sonoma County, Hon. Elliot Daum

Filed April 16, 2012     CARRQ's Reply Brief from Judgment entered Aug. 16, 2011, Superior Court Sonoma County, Hon. Elliot Daum

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