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Nonprofit sues city for allowing Blue Diamond to demolish historic building

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Drone video gives an amazing look at the almond blooms from above over Chamisal Creek and Peterson Ranch in Arbuckle, California. Farmers are hoping this week's freeze will not harm the upcoming crop.

Nonprofit Preservation Sacramento is suing the city of Sacramento and the City Council over the decision to allow Blue Diamond to demolish a historic building.

The legal challenge, filed this week in Sacramento Superior Court, alleges the council violated the California Environmental Quality Act when it voted last month to allow the company to remove a North 16th Street building from the city’s historic register. Blue Diamond plans to demolish the building to make way for loading docks.

The council approval went against recommendations from city staff and the Preservation Commission to leave the building on the register. The lawsuit asks the court to void it.

City spokesman Tim Swanson declined to comment on the lawsuit because the city does not comment pending litigation, he said. Blue Diamond spokeswoman Alicia Rockwell also declined to comment.

The company failed to analyze environmental impacts of demolition and identify alternatives, which the state law requires, the lawsuit alleges.

“Blue Diamond’s truck facility project cannot detour around CEQA,” the lawsuit said. “Delisting the Annex simply to avoid environmental protection sets a dangerous precedent.”

The company hired historic consultants who found the 83-year-old building should not have been placed on the register because it had been significantly altered before Blue Diamond acquired it, a company representative told the council last month.

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