The Petaluma group opposing the long-delayed Regency shopping center said is has settled its lawsuit with the company.
The group issued this statement:
PETALUMA, CA. Today, the Petaluma Community Coalition (PCC), developer Regency Centers and the City of Petaluma finalized a settlement agreement that resolves PCC’s lawsuit challenging Regency’s East Washington Place mall development. The anchor tenant will be Target, Petaluma’s first big box chain store.
The agreement calls for Regency to drop its earlier lawsuit against the City over the same project, and to reimburse the City its costs in defending that suit. In addition, Regency will contribute $40,000 for bike, pedestrian and traffic control improvements for the Old East Side neighborhood, while improving the mall’s energy efficiency by installing skylights and solar tubes on the various buildings, as well as by designating rooftop areas for solar arrays. Regency has also agreed to allow two on-site transit stops when the City wants them, and to add a small earthen berm and more trees along Hwy 101.
“Although we were able to only make minor improvements to the project, we’re pleased that we got Regency to drop its lawsuit against the city, and to pay the city’s defense costs,” said PCC Co-chair and former Petaluma City Councilmember Matt Maguire. “And the changes we’ve negotiated are more than what the Council was willing to approve. Altogether, we think it’s a good deal for the whole community.”
The $40,000 payment will be prioritized towards speed cushions on neighborhood cross streets, contributing towards permanent “bike boulevard” improvements now being looked into by the City for East D St., and/or a lighted crosswalk at E. Washington and Vallejo streets. All funds will ultimately be spent on the Old East Side neighborhood.
“These are important improvements for our neighborhood,” said Co-chair Paul Francis. “The project will have serious impacts on us, and these will help mitigate them. We just wish the Council had done a better job of protecting us so we didn’t have to go to court to get the job done.” Francis notes that all the agreed-upon improvements were suggested to the Council during the public hearings.
Additionally, Regency has agreed to review the alignment of Johnson Dr. whenever the Sonoma-Marin Fair use ceases to see if moving it away from right next to the City’s swim center and skateboard park would be feasible.
PCC’s expenses and legal costs, including extensive paralegal efforts to assemble the official court record by PCC’s co-chairs, are also covered by the agreement.