Court rules against Liberty Lane challenge

Court rules against Liberty Lane challenge
Posted on 10/07/2018

Oct. 7, 2018 - A Superior Court judge on Friday ruled in favor of the City in a lawsuit challenging the City Council’s approval of the Liberty Lane affordable housing project for veterans.

The ruling, issued Friday, Oct. 5, finds in favor of the City, rejecting each of the claims by a citizens group challenging the project. The suit was filed by Citizens for Equitable Redlands following the City Council’s Oct. 3, 2017, approval of the proposed 80-unit complex, planned on 4.72 acres at the southwest corner of Texas Street and Lugonia Avenue.

The project was initially approved 6-0 by the Redlands Planning Commission on Jan. 24, 2017. It was initially scheduled for public hearing by the City Council in February 2017, however, after hearing from several residents, the Council ordered additional environmental study. The Council again considered the project in September 2017 and gave final approval at the Oct. 3, 2017 City Council meeting.

The affordable housing complex by Los Angeles based affordable housing developer A Community of Friends is designed for veterans and their families, individuals with special needs and low-income families and includes six apartment buildings with a total of 60 one-bedroom units, 19 two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit, communal facilities and support services for residents on site.

The petition by Citizens for Equitable Redlands claimed the project was not compatible with the established neighborhood, bringing adverse environmental impacts including aesthetic and noise impacts. The group also claimed the City Council acted in error in declining to prepare an Environmental Impact Report for the project.

In its 40-page ruling, the court rejected each of the group’s arguments and denied the petition in its entirety.