Judge dismisses suit against Arden-Arcade apartment project



A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that attempted to stop an affordable apartment project in Arden-Arcade.


In a tentative ruling that became final last Friday, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Christopher Krueger said the county was justified in approving the project without a full review under the California Environmental Quality Act.


“The County determined the proposed project complies with all applicable standards in the Zoning Code and the Guidelines,” Krueger stated in his ruling. “Having made that determination, the County had no discretion to do anything other than approve Anton’s Development Plan Review and Design Review — which is precisely what it did.”


Representatives of the developer, Anton Development Co., said they expect the 148-room project, Anton Arcade, will be ready next summer.


“Ultimately, we’re very pleased that this suit is resolved,” said Rachel Green, the development manager for Anton Development Co. “We’re excited to begin leasing this summer.”


An attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit said he had no comment on the ruling, but referred inquiries to one of the plaintiffs, Michael Seaman. Seaman did not respond to a request for comment.

Sacramento County supervisors approved the project at 2134 Butano Drive in January. Because the property was long zoned for multifamily, county planners considered approval to be routine and the project exempt from CEQA. But in March, nearby residents, citing issues with traffic and the effect on the project’s surroundings, filed suit to stop it.


Despite the suit, Anton Development began working on the project in March. Green said multifamily projects across the state often face CEQA challenges, especially affordable ones. In the Sacramento region, neighbors filed similar suits against market-rate multifamily projects in El Dorado Hills and Rocklin.

Green said she knew the plaintiffs have the ability to appeal the ruling, but urged them to carefully consider the points Krueger made in his ruling. “We’d rather come together as neighbors,” she said.

Under the approved guidelines, 80 percent of the units would be designated for people making 60 percent of the median income for the region. The remaining 20 percent are designated for those making 50 percent of the median income.

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