County wins Hwy. 12 suit

Sonoma County has won an apparent victory in court after a Sacramento County judge tentatively ruled that the county could re-enter into contracts for the Highway 12 project in the Springs and the Roseland shopping plaza in Santa Rosa.

The state’s Department of Finance had disallowed the new contracts for the two projects on numerous occasions. The original contracts were voided when the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state in December 2011 and dissolved the estimated 400 redevelopment agencies statewide. The county’s Successor Agency re-entered into the contracts according to the letter of the law, but the state thought otherwise so the county sued.

Judge Eugene Balonon issued the tentative ruling late Thursday and didn’t even bring the matter up during a hearing on another part of the suit Friday morning.

Juliet Cox, an outside counsel for the county, said after the hearing she’d be surprised if the judge reversed himself in his final


But the state could appeal the ruling – and in two similar suits that the state lost against the cities of Emeryville and Riverside, the state did just that and those appeals are still pending.

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