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Activists sue Belvedere for adopting plans without state review

A nonprofit pro-housing group has followed through on its threats to sue Belvedere after the City Council adopted its eight-year housing roadmap without first seeking state review.

In a lawsuit filed Jan. 25, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Californians for Homeownership is seeking a judicial order that would require the city to rescind adoption and declare that the state’s punitive builder’s remedy took effect today, Feb. 1 — meaning local zoning and general plans don’t apply and developers can build certain housing by right under state rules until the element is legally adopted. Failing to comply also exposes cities to enforcement action, fines, lawsuits and ineligibility for certain transportation and housing grants.

The group is also seeking reimbursement of suit costs and attorney fees. A hearing had not been scheduled at The Ark’s press time.

The council on Jan. 24 voted 4-0, with Sally Wilkinson absent, to approve and adopt the state-mandated 2023-2031 housing element as a hedge against the builder’s remedy, asserting that approval and adoption is all that’s required to meet the state’s Jan. 31 compliance deadline.

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