As private stakeholders seek to move forward with controversial residential development project, civil legal aid organizations threaten lawsuit to force compliance with affordable housing regulations.
East Bay Express (Oakland)
June 2, 2015
Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Advocates Inc., Public Interest Law Project (PILP)
Attorneys representing Eastlake United for Justice delivered a letter to Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker today warning that they are ready to sue the city to stop construction of a luxury condo tower on city-owned land near Lake Merritt.
According to the attorneys — David Zisser and Sam Tepperman-Gelfant of the nonprofit public interest law firm Public Advocates, Mike Rawson of the Public Interest Law Project (PILP), and Dan Siegel of Siegel & Yee — federal, state, and local laws require local governments to offer public lands first to affordable housing developers before offering the land for market-rate development. The attorneys reviewed public records related to the city’s effort to sell the land to UrbanCore and have concluded that “the City has not complied with many of these requirements.”
The public interest lawyers aren’t the only attorneys to weigh in on the legality of the land sale. On February 16, R. Zachary Wasserman, a well-known Oakland real estate attorney, also wrote to Parker stating his legal opinion — that the sale of the city-owned parcel to UrbanCore is legal and should not be delayed.Tags: Community Economic Development, Housing