In the court room-based litigation “boxing match” between the Alliance for Intelligent Planning versus CV Communities over the issue of whether or not Tract Map 25122 (located at the intersection of Palomar Road and McVicker Street) had actually expired, Round Two goes to the Alliance.
The judge, the Hon. Sunshine Sykes, late yesterday afternoon, granted a Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”), severely restricting CV Communities from moving forward on their defiant and ill-considered City-issued grading permit until June 13, 2014. At that time, the Court will consider upgrading the TRO to a more permanent Preliminary Injunction, which would remain in effect, at least until the underlying issue of the Tract Map expiration is decided by the Court at trial.
The hearing before Judge Sykes, originally set for 9:30 AM, was continued until 2:00 PM on “getaway” Friday afternoon. After completing my less rigorous appointment schedule, I was able to drop into the court room to observe the procedure.
As the sole non-party observer in the courtroom, I watched with fascination as Judge Sykes methodically discussed the original TRO motion and the opposition filed by CV Communities. It quickly became apparent that the Judge was going to grant the TRO, while permitting CV communities to initiate some grading at their site, but with severe limitations, as follows:
1) No more than 52 truckloads of soil importation between the hours of 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
2) All of the heavy equipment utilized by the CV Community graders must meet environmentally friendly certification standards set by the State of California.
3) The total number of “diesel horsepower hours” for heavy equipment usage is limited to a specific number.
The upshot of the restrictions is that CV Communities will not be able to aggressively grade their project until June 13, 2014, and then, only if the Court does not grant the Preliminary Injunction.
Since the Courts usually do not like to grant a TRO prior to having a full hearing, if not the actual trial, in order to consider and rule on the entire facts of the case before them, the granting of this TRO by Judge Sykes has to be considered, in my opinion, a significant, although admittedly temporary, setback for CV Communities.
Therefore, Round Two of this 10 round Main Event goes to the plaintiff, making the score 2-0 in the early rounds of this dispute.
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