California town development initiative re-approved by court
SAN LUIS OBISPO, California: Ernie Dalidio, a rancher and developer in San Luis Obispo, California, has recently won a controversial court case allowing him to develop the San Luis Obispo Marketplace on a 131-acre site along a local highway. California's 2nd District Court of Appeals reinstated the results of Measure J, a ballot initiative put forth by Dalidio and approved by voters in 2006. The Marketplace will allow for such things as retail space, a hotel, a business park, housing and soccer fields once it is fully constructed.
The appellate court overturned the original ruling by San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge c, who ruled that the project was not a proper subject for an initiative ballot, notwithstanding the sixty-five percent voter approval, while adding that the initiative conflicted with state law concerning housing near airports. The higher court, however, determined that the initiative could determine airport guidelines and cited case law which states, "The people's reserved power of initiative is greater than the power of the legislative body." The case to overturn Measure J was originally brought by "Citizens for Planning Responsibly" and the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County. Rosemary Wilvert, spokeswoman for the former, said the groups are still deciding whether they are going to appeal once again and bring it to the state Supreme Court.