OUR DAY IN COURT
Joan Cooper, Edward Grutzmacher (attorney for the City of Petaluma,
Richard Drury (lead attorney representing the non-profits and individual
plaintiffs,) David Keller, Sheri Chlebowski, Ilka de Gast, and Heidi Rhymes
outside of Courtroom 17 on Dec. 9, 2011
Today at Sonoma Superior Court, Judge Rene Chouteau heard oral arguments for
two and one-half hours on the Dutra lawsuit.
Judge Chouteau asked insightful questions to clarify the arguments of both
sides of the suit - the plaintiffs (community non -profits, individuals and
The City of Petaluma) and the defense (The County of Sonoma, Dutra
Materials, and Shamrock Materials.)
Our attorney Richard Drury presented compelling arguments regarding the
alleged California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) violations, starting
with the failure to provide a clear description of the project for the
public’s review. Dutra’s attorney maintained that the project was 99% the
same as the original project described six years ago and that the piecemeal
description contained in subsequent two revisions and numerous associated
documents was sufficient to meet CEQA’s requirement for a clear description.
Community members filled the seats of courttoom 17 with Mayor Dave Glass,
and Council members Barrett, Healy, and Rene present, as well as former
Mayor Pam Torliatt and former Council member David Keller.
Judge Chouteau has up to 90 days to rule on the legal issues. The session
demonstrated how much is at stake for both sides of this dispute. Kudos go
to our legal team for a clear and concise presentation.