Trees Not Cars

Overview of the Lawsuit and Injunction
March 24, 2004

In December 2003, the Alliance for Golden Gate Park and Save Golden Gate Park filed suit in Superior Court challenging the City's lack of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report for the three projects in the Music Concourse. In January 2004, Katherine Roberts and Trees Not Cars responded to a validation lawsuit brought by the City and County of San Francisco for the purpose of getting court approval for the design, funding and management schemes the City approved for the Music Concourse parking garage. The City combined these two lawsuits for the purpose of avoiding paying both sides' legal fees and to streamline the legal process.

The first of two principal causes of Roberts' suit was the illegal diversion of garage revenue to pay back a bond to build the garage in violation of the City Charter which states the garage revenues are Recreation and Park Department money, and 1998's Proposition J which states the no public money shall be used to construct the garage. Roberts' attorney Thomas N. Lippe, Esq. found this section of the City Charter. The second cause for complaint was the illegal siting of a garage entrance inside the park.

When construction of the garage began on March 1st, Thomas Lippe filed a brief requesting a temporary restraining order (TRO) in Superior Court. Steven Volker, attorney for Save Golden Gate Park and the Alliance for Golden Gate Park cosigned the brief. Judge Kevin McCarthy issued a TRO based on Lippe's first and second causes of complaint ruling that Roberts was likely to prevail on the merits of those arguments. Then Lippe filed a brief requesting a preliminary injunction, which Volker also cosigned. McCarthy issued the injunction based on Lippe's arguments.

Today the City requested a stay for the injunction which was declined.

Trees Not Cars is a group started three years ago by Katherine Roberts and Jym Dyer for the purpose of protecting urban greenspace from destruction by automobiles and improving conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians.

For further information, contact Katherine at 415/933-8967.