Redwood Valley Market Loses Suit Against Dollar General
Judge Richard Henderson issued a decision on January 11, 2017, to deny the lawsuit by the Redwood Valley Market owners, Alex and Anthony Chehada, against Dollar General. The many Redwood Valley residents who attended the hearing in early December were forewarned by the judge that he sometimes had to make decisions against his personal preference, and seemed to characterize this decision as one he had to make. The points of law were all he could look at, and essentially he ruled that the legal appeal of the permit issuance was filed later than the 30-day statute of limitations. The fact that the County never made a personal contact with the Chehadas nor with their attorney, despite the County’s knowledge of the Chehadas’ objection to the permit, was not a relevant issue, as the County isn’t specifically required to do outreach other than a physical posting of information on a clipboard at the Planning and Building Services office. Therefore, nothing related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), regarding any environmental issues, was heard. The Zoning Code designating the Dollar General proposed site as a C-1 (Commercial) property, and the General Plan’s short and vague comments about Redwood Valley’s environment, constitute the sum total of environmental review that will be given to the project.
The ruling came as no surprise to the many local residents who have been following the issue since the June, 2015 granting of the permit. The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, while recognizing the high level of opposition to the project by the local community, basically said their “hands were tied” as to stopping a “permit by right” such as was granted to the Dolgen corporation (the parent company of the Dollar General stores). While Board members Carre Brown and John McCowen voted against the development, approval was granted by three Board votes from Dan Gjerde, Dan Hamburg, and since-resigned Board member Tom Woodhouse, underscoring the limited power of a small community … read more here!