Real Estate News

Judge rejects legal arguments against East Sacramento senior complex

A lawsuit challenging construction of a senior living complex in East Sacramento has been turned down by a judge.

DT Real Estate Investments earlier this year proposed building a senior housing facility that would stand 37 feet tall and include two dining rooms, a kitchen and 28 resident rooms where a Jehovah’s Witnesses church now stands on I Street. The Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the project in January.

Maria Kelly, whose family once owned Channel 3 (KCRA), has an ownership interest in a million-dollar home behind the church that overlooks McKinley Park. She took the city to court in February after her representative, Ted Wells, failed to persuade city officials to deny the project.

The lawsuit charged that the city failed to follow critical environmental rules before green-lighting the project, suggesting that the facility would create congestion and traffic.

City officials and developer Steve Trolio dismissed those concerns, noting that the site once served many more people as a church. They point to community support and the ideal location – close to McKinley Park, a hospital and mass transit – as reasons for why the project should move forward.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Shelleyanne W.L. Chang agreed with the city’s arguments Thursday in a tentative ruling, saying that the senior home fits into the existing plan for the neighborhood and does not create parking, traffic or sewer problems significant enough to warrant environmental review.

In a written statement, Kelly’s company, Dessins LLC, said it would seek “to change the judge’s mind” in a hearing scheduled for Friday. However, Dessins vowed to appeal if the judge affirms her tentative ruling.

Wells, an architectural historian, called the project “inconsistent with the positive historic character of the McKinley Park neighborhood.”

Developer Trolio hailed the victory, saying it was a “well-reasoned decision.” He said the project’s timeline remains unclear because Dessins could appeal the ruling.

“We weren’t doing anything outside of the box,” he said. “We were sitting within the guidelines of the general plan.”

Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.

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