22 Aug 2014
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Will the City be Able to Afford Dutra Suit?

The City Council voted 6-1 to continue with the lawsuit to prevent Dutra from building their asphalt plant. But is there a limit to how far they will go?

Will the City be Able to Afford Dutra Suit? Will the City be Able to Afford Dutra Suit? Will the City be Able to Afford Dutra Suit?

Last Monday the heard over 20 residents weigh in on continuing the lawsuit against the Dutra Group's proposed asphalt plant at Haystack Landing.

In the closed session that followed, against the County of Sonoma, which despite local objections. Only Councilman Chris Albertson voted no, citing the unknown costs of continued legal action.

The council's agreement vote was given a boost by citizens groups that pledged $10,000 toward the legal fees, estimated at one point to run about $18,000.

But an article in today's Press Democrat points out that the legal fees are far from known, and may exceed that number by a factor of ten - up to $200,000, according to Santa Rosa attorney Rachel Stevenson. (, an outspoken opponent of the plant, has been quick to question the figures, and has fired off objections to the Press Democrat, Patch and possibly others about them.)

Is there a point at which the City Council's budget for the lawsuit will run out? How about Petalumans - will they reach the end of their own rope in opposing the project? Will the "deep pockets" of the Dutra Group eventually prevail?

NOTE: The poll attached to this story has been removed, as its results reflect more respondents than readers.

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