Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stop me if you've heard this one before

For those who attended the Ontario (California) City Council meeting last night, you'll recall that there were complaints about lack of notice of the hearing, incorrect addresses, environmental quality deterioration, and the like.

So it's interesting to read this article from March 29.

A large shopping center planned in the heart of Menifee has become the latest target in a mysterious string of lawsuits involving Target and Wal-Mart stores with large grocery sections.

The latest..uh...target. Heh. I think we can tell where writer Chris Bagley stands on this issue. Perhaps he'll have to recuse himself. Let's continue.

The three suits allege violations of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Yup. So what's next?

In the latest, an entity called Menifee Citizens for Smart Growth alleges that county officials failed to give adequate notice of public hearings Dec. 19 and Jan. 23.

Yup, a group of concerned citizens alleging lack of notice. Let's continue.

The suit, filed Feb. 26, also alleges unspecified "findings not supported by substantial evidence."

Yup, someone saying that the lawsuit lacks specifics.

After details about the project, there's a reference to the lawyer.

Cory Briggs, the Upland attorney who filed the suit, didn't respond to an e-mail and phone message seeking comment this week.

Ah, Cory Briggs. Perhaps he should recuse himself from the Ontario fight, since we know how he stands in Menifee. And Murrietta:

Briggs has also filed a lawsuit on behalf of a corporation called Murrietans for Smart Growth over a planned shopping center in the northeastern corner of that city, which would also include a SuperTarget.

And Blythe:

Another suit filed by Briggs this year, Blythe Citizens for Smart Growth v. City of Blythe, involves a Wal-Mart SuperCenter that the city approved.

But I did find one potential difference between the Ontario case and the other cases.

Murrieta and Blythe said they hadn't had any contact with the "Murrietans" or "Blythe Citizens" who were suing the cities. Briggs registered both as California nonprofit corporations Jan. 2, a day before suing the city of Murrieta and two weeks before suing Blythe.

Briggs didn't respond to several calls The Californian placed after the Murrieta suit was filed.

Menifee Citizens for Smart Growth doesn't appear to be registered as a legal entity in the state, according to the California secretary of state's office. It would have to be registered in another state in order to file the suit, USC law professor Noel Ragsdale said.

However, it appears that the Briggs model is well-documented. Align with a community organization (although Chris Bagley alleges that Briggs creates organizations when necessary). Raise environmental issues. Allege violations of meeting notice requirements.

Meanwhile, apparently no one cares about the fenced-in, disgraceful crime magnets that remain while the obstructionists continue their tactics.

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