Initiatives & Referenda

Initiatives & Referenda

Overview

Whether drafting a ballot measure in pursuit of project approval, mounting a political campaign for or against a ballot measure or challenging the legality of an opponent's ballot measure, Cox Castle & Nicholson offers experienced and sophisticated legal counsel. The integration of political and legal strategy requires a coordinated team approach; our attorneys are accustomed to working cooperatively with a broad spectrum of professional disciplines to deliver success for our clients. We have drafted ballot measures asking voters to approve a project; we have quarterbacked political campaigns to support or oppose ballot measures, including compliance with California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) requirements and disclosures; we have defended against challenges to the validity of ballot measures seeking approval of our clients' projects; and we have challenged the validity of ballot measures both pre- and post-election.

Representative
Matters

Alameda County Measure D Litigation. Represented homebuilders in opposition to Alameda County's Measure D, which established strict urban growth boundary throughout eastern Alameda County. Prepared counter-measure alternative to Measure D, and prosecuted litigation against Measure D through trial court proceedings.

City of Novato Urban Growth Boundary. Advised the City of Novato regarding the formulation of a ballot measure amending the City general plan to adopt an urban growth boundary.

City of San Ramon Measure G Litigation. Represented a homebuilder in litigation challenging the application of "Measure G" (amending the general plan to restrict hillside development, among other things) to limit a housing project proposed in San Ramon.

Dyer Mountain Ballot Measure. Represented property owners in preparing a ballot measure for the adoption of a general plan amendment and zoning for a proposed ski resort development. The measure was approved by the Lassen County voters.

El Dorado County Measure Y Litigation. Represented a coalition of property owners in challenging the provisions of Measure Y, a growth control and traffic limitation measure in El Dorado County.

Fagan Canyon Specific Plan. Represented a national homebuilder in a proposed 2,000 home project subject to referendum by local opponents. Initiated litigation against the referendum petition, and prepared competing a ballot measure to establish legislative approvals for the project.

Friends of Sierra Madre v. City of Sierra Madre. Represented the city in the trial court, Court of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court, in an action regarding the question of whether CEQA applies to council-sponsored ballot measures.

Lagoon Valley Specific Plan. Represented a builder through entitlements as well as defending the project against a referendum effort and litigation from several opponents. Negotiated a settlement involving preparation of a ballot measure in coordination with the city and Greenbelt Alliance, in order to establish an urban growth boundary throughout the city.

Merritt v. City of Pleasanton. Represented a property owner in challenging a referendum on development approvals for the property on the ground that the referendum was inconsistent with the city general plan.

Oak Grove Planned Development. Represented a developer in response to a referendum drive against the project. Successful pre-election challenge at trial court level litigation against the City Clerk of Pleasanton and referendum proponents, temporarily preventing the presentation of the ballot measure to the voters. Reversed on appeal.

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Patterson Ranch. Represented a landowner and developer in the development of a 800 unit mixed residential and 30,000 square foot commercial project, with a 10 acre elementary school campus and two church sites in Fremont, including initiative and referendum campaigns relating to the project.

Redwood City Industrial Saltworks. Assisted the developer of a 1,400 acre site in Redwood City in responding to a ballot measure initiated by local and regional no-growth groups. Participated in development of a counter-measure and successful campaign to defeat the no-growth measure.

Spring Valley Referendum Campaigns and Litigation. Represented the proponents of the Spring Valley project in Yuba County in referendum and initiative campaigns regarding the project, and in litigation challenging the form of the referendum petitions. The campaign advice included advice regarding signature gathering tactics, withdrawal of petition signatures, and the proper means of addressing improper tactics by project opponents.

Silicon Valley Campuses. Represented major tech firm in litigation challenging and defending the wording of ballot arguments for a proposed referendum on the project.

Sunol Quarry Litigation. Advised quarry operator on litigation strategy for a ballot measure/CEQA case relating to a proposed quarry expansion in the Sunol area.

Town of Windsor Urban Growth Boundary. Prepared the draft of a general plan amendment text for an initiative ballot measure setting an urban growth boundary for the Town of Windsor.

Yuba County Raceway Initiative. Represented Yuba County in the preparation of an initiative measure that included all required legislative approvals, such as general plan amendment and zoning, for the Yuba County Raceway project.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Bley, Kenneth B. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2231
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Bradish, Margo N. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5101
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Lamport, Stanley W. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2275
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Mudge, Anne E. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5107
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Paone, Tim Partner Orange County 949.260.4655
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Sabey, Andrew B. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5103
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Waite, David P. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2218
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Zischke, Michael H. Partner San Francisco 415.262.5109
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Spotlight

Environmental And Land Use Practices Ranked Top In Northern California By The Recorder

One of California’s leading legal industry newspapers named Cox Castle & Nicholson's Northern California Environmental... More»