MEASURE E passed in 2002 and we are hoping to see the space developed into an open space preserve in the near future. We are waiting for the courts to decide on some land ownership issues.

At issue is whether or not the railroad company must honor a 1924 contract is has with the City of Alameda which would allow the City to purchase the property, and any “extensions,” for $30k plus the cost of improvements. Naturally, the railroad would rather not honor this contract. Hence the lawsuit.

The railroad has tried to have the contract voided on the grounds that it is “too old” and that the word “extensions” is too vague in meaning. The trial court originally sided with the railroad, but the City appealed, and won on these points. The case was then sent BACK to the trial court where the court must recognize the contact and the term “extensions” as valid, giving the City the right to discovery and, ultimately, a judgement.

We are still anticipating a positive outcome, though when the case will be decided is unknown.

(See California Appellate Courts, Alameda Belt Line v. City of Alameda, Case No. A099429, District 1, Division 5.)

In 2003, the case was written up as a “Case of Note” by the California Bar Association. Contains a good summary and history of the case, though it does not come up to date.

>> Case of Note

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