Today (Tues 9/5) was a big day! Today was the first hearing of the lawsuit filed on behalf of Charter Cities to overturn SB9 due to conflicts with the way the bill tries to exempt the legislation from the State Constitution’s protections for Charter Cities’ ability to manage their own land use and zoning.
It was the 3 attorneys for our side, 1 attorney from the State AG’s office, and the Judge, along with a contingent of CCLC Volunteers in attendance to provide support and soak in the action.
In what is likely to be the only hearing in the case, the judge seemed to pick at some flaws that even the State’s attorney admitted to – that being the question of ‘what constitutes ‘affordable’ housing’, and the fact that SB9 doesn’t require any projects to be ‘affordable’ yet uses the ‘affordable housing crisis’ as the basis for exempting the bill from the State Constitution’s protections. The State’s attorney seemed frazzled and unprepared, and Pam Lee and our attorneys provided amazing arguments and answers to the judges questions.
I can tell you this – that for those of us there watching, we left the courtroom feeling optimistic and hopeful that there is a shot that we could win this one! The next step expected will be the actual ruling by the judge to decide the case, and per Attorney Pam Lee, that could come fairly quickly (quoting Pam – “it could be as little as a week!”).
And I do want to take a moment to thank the CCLC volunteers that joined me in the courtroom to watch, support and listen to the hearing. Thank you to Amy, David B and his wife Elaine, Joe, David W, Garrett and his wife Melissa, and Steve B. We may have been the lucky ones to maybe see history in the making! Thank you for taking the time out of your day to make it a point to be there. Pam Lee was very appreciative that we showed up to support, and she felt that that may have left an impression on the judge as well.
Pam has promised to let me know ASAP when any new news on this case develops, and I will share that info with you. Here’s a picture of us with Pam and Mike Webb after the hearing was over: (not in the picture – David W and Steve B)