News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 11/01/3013
Subject :

Appellate Court Rules In City’s Favor On California Avenue Streetscape Lawsuit
Contact : Molly Stump, City Attorney    650-329-2171
Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650-329-2607
Palo Alto, CA -- The Sixth District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the City of Palo Alto in Ogawa v. City of Palo Alto, and dismissed the appellants' arguments that the City had failed to correct several California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) violations pertaining to the California Avenue streetscape project.  The proposed project includes a four-block stretch of California Avenue bordered by El Camino Real to the west and a Caltrain station to the east.  The area serves as a transit connection for many pedestrians and bicyclists, and the City plans certain "streetscape enhancements" including reducing the number of lanes on the avenue from four to two to promote a safer bike and pedestrian corridor.

Appellants Joy Ogawa, Terry Shuchat, Jack Morton and Antonio's Nuthouse, Inc. had filed a petition for writ of mandate alleging violations of CEQA and other laws.  In November 2011, the trial court ordered the City to take certain corrective actions pertaining to CEQA, which the City complied with and then moved to discharge the writ.  The trial court granted that request, agreeing that the City had complied with CEQA.  Petitioners appealed that decision.  The Court of Appeal’s decision, issued yesterday, rejects all of appellants’ arguments and holds that the City has fully complied with CEQA.

"The courts have confirmed again that the City complied with CEQA," said City Attorney Molly Stump.  “This resolves litigation over the California Avenue Streetscape Project.  The City can now begin improvements to this vital street without the threat of ongoing litigation.”

The City anticipates construction on the project to begin in December 2013/January 2014, and California Avenue will remain open for business throughout construction.  The City is working with merchants to minimize any impact to businesses and the public.

To read the court’s opinion, click here.