Developers attack report critical of Ukiah project
By GLENDA ANDERSON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Published: Friday, June 5, 2009 at 4:03 a.m.
A developer’s campaign to persuade Mendocino County voters to directly approve a 74-acre shopping-based development has shown its legal muscle.
An attorney for the campaign is demanding that Mendocino County officials disown a study that indicates the project could impact Ukiah Valley water and sewer customers.
The study is “an illegal expenditure of public resources in violation of the California Constitution,” states the letter from San Rafael attorney Marguerite Mary Leoni to the Mendocino County counsel and the Local Agency Formation Commission. The report was created by LAFCO executive director Frank McMichael.
Leoni represents the initiative campaign, which is funded by Developers Diversified Realty, one of the country’s largest mall developers.
She said the report also fails to meet the legal requirement that such government reports be objective. “It is replete with speculation and fear-mongering,” Leoni said.
Her letter demands that LAFCO officials declare they did not request, authorize or approve the report, that it is not based on a factual investigation, that it is not a LAFCO report and that McMichael lacks the credentials to support an authoritative opinion on water issues as they pertain to the development plan.
As the director of LAFCO, McMichael is charged with ensuring there is adequate water and other public services for developments prior to annexation to special districts that supply water and sewer.
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