A group of neighbors that unsuccessfully fought an affordable housing project all the way to the state appeals court learned Wednesday that Berkeley would have to pay for part of their legal costs.
The First District Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Marie Bowman and Neighbors for Sensible Development qualified for $18,000 in attorneys fees from the city.
The ruling upholds a superior court judgment that Berkeley violated the neighbors’ due process rights when the City Council first approved Affordable Housing Associates’ Outback Senior Homes project at 2517 Sacramento St.
Berkeley had appealed the ruling.
The developer and opponents had been in mediation at the time the council first approved the project in 2002. Assuming that no action would be taken on the project during mediation, opponents were not in council chambers to voice their opposition when the council approved it.
After the initial ruling in favor or Bowman, the council subsequently reapproved the project. Bowman sued again arguing that the development was too big and would cause traffic congestion and environmental hazards. Last year the appeals court ruled in favor of the city affirming the legality of 40 units of affordable senior housing.