SANTA ANA, CA — Daniel R. Wildish, a long-time California real estate attorney and managing partner at Wildish and Nialis, in Orange, Calif., today filed a Petition for Review at the California Supreme Court level on behalf of CAGE, the Coalition for Accountability in Government Ethics.
The group is an active and growing community activist organization that consists of Santa Ana residents, tax payers and various community associations that continues to fight to force the City of Santa Ana to bring a special election, this after city officials changed the requirements with regard to the building of the One Broadway Plaza project, a 37-story office tower in the city.
Wildish’s petition comes as a result of the Fourth District California Court of Appeals opinion issued on December 2, 2011, in which it overturned Superior Court Judge Derek W. Hunt’s Writ of Mandate filed last summer. Hunt’s ruling ordered the City of Santa Ana to submit the question of any change in the stipulations and conditions of Measure A in a special election of the voters. More specifically, his ruling found that the City of Santa Ana did not have the right to waive the builder’s requirement to prove the structure was 50% leased prior to breaking ground and beginning construction.
Though petitions for review are rarely granted, Wildish believes that the Court of Appeals made a significant error and omission in its ruling by failing to acknowledge the conditions called out in Measure A, an initiative put before the voters in 2005. In that initiative, Wildish contends, the vote did concern the development project as a whole and did not pertain merely to a zoning amendment, a position that Wildish suggests is a form of over substance. “It was clear that the voters were simply voting on whether or not the entire development at One Broadway Plaza should go forward, and, if so, the conditions under which such construction would be allowed,” Wildish states.
“CAGE’s beef is that the city has ignored certain stipulations in the measure, one of which is to waive the need for the builder to pre-lease the structure 50% prior to breaking ground,” Wildish points out. “After a thoughtful review of the conditions contained in Measure A, Judge Hunt upheld CAGE’S contention that a special election would indeed be required for the city to allow any changes in the originally voted-upon Measure in order that the project be allowed to move forward.”