YOLO SUN OPINION :

Woodland City Council on September 16 is expected to formally annul its various approvals of the Gateway 2 project, facing a judicial writ of mandate after being soundly thrashed by a precedential, published opinion of the Third District Appellate Court.

Gateway 2’s environmental processes were comprehensively rigged for Paul Petrovich’s benefit, using a half-dozen serious violations of law.  Inadequate, unreliable and improper mitigation for Gateway 2’s impacts upon Downtown Woodland was a prominent violation.  Only decisive intervention by California Clean Energy Committee as a plaintiff repelled this compound assault upon state and local environmental protections.

Clearly, Woodland City Council was simply hoping that no lawsuit would challenge such subversion, a monstrous and perpetual sell-out of this community’s interest, heritage and values.

Despite councilmembers Marble and Stallard voting against Gateway 2, neither of them stated any form of legal concern or relevant and sound basis for their votes.  Marble was incensed that Petrovich had welched on his promise to build a downtown movie house, while Stallard complained that it was just “too much too soon.”

No city councilmember properly analyzed and understood this development plan, identifying its obvious and severe flaws. Collegiality, it seems, in this fashion got in the way of our civic interest.  Since there was a council majority in favor of a detrimental, injurious Gateway 2, why become incisive or robust in its criticism?

That’s the pandering, political shadow-play which unfolded for this key matter, risking huge and permanent impacts on this community, only avoided through timely and meritorious litigation.

The appellate court’s opinion continuously upbraided the city and its attorney, Whitman Manley, for a “troubling” presentation of the administrative record in this case, revealing the city’s desperate need and desire to obstruct its prosecution.

Councilmember Hilliard was heard to remark about Gateway 2, prior to the appellate court’s opinion, that the city would “get’er done.”  Well, the city got done, alright.

What future contexts of such pandering to Petrovich are now lurking within the City’s planning processes?  For one matter, there is his recent application for development of the key site which is the northern leg of Downtown Woodland’s Primary Gateway, at East and Main Streets.

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