The California Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of Measure J, the 2006 ballot initiative through which county voters approved a shopping center adjacent to Highway 101 just south of San Luis Obispo.
The decision, which the court did not explain, means “the litigation and appeals process in the state is over,” said James McKiernan, attorney for rancher-developer Ernie Dalidio.
Opponents could appeal to the U.S. Supreme court, McKiernan said, but the high court is notoriously choosy about which cases it will hear, and getting them to take this one would be like trying to “waltz a camel through the eye of a needle,” McKiernan said.
Dalidio told The Tribune on Wednesday that he felt “better than I have in the last six or seven years.” He said he would use the holiday season to decide what steps to take next.
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He called the county’s decision “a positive step for us and for the people who voted for Measure J.”
The case to overturn Measure J was brought by Citizens for Planning Responsibly and the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County. Russ Brown, vice president of CPR, said Wednesday he was disappointed, and that the group would take some time to figure out what to do next.
On its face, the decision seems to end a decades-long dispute over Dalidio’s highly visible 131 acres of agricultural land.