September 6, 2013: The firm represented the East Bay Regional Park District, the prevailing party in a recent published decision issued by the State of California First District Court of Appeal in Golden Gate Land Holdings v. East Bay Regional Park District (2013) 215 Cal.App.4th 353.  In this case, the Park District sought to condemn land for construction of the San Francisco Bay Trail.  The Bay Trail is a multi-jurisdictional effort to construct a hiking and biking trail that will literally ring the entire San Francisco Bay.  In the East Bay, the Bay Trail is nearly complete with the exception of a few locations, including the land on which the Golden Gate Fields racetrack is located in the cities of Berkeley and Albany.  The Park District authorized eminent domain proceedings to condemn land for the Bay Trail within Golden Gate Fields prior to preparing an Environmental Impact Report for the actual construction of the trail.  Golden Gate Land Holdings, the owner of the property, filed legal proceedings seeking to block the condemnation.  The Court of Appeal determined that the Park District had properly pursued the condemnation proceedings prior to completion of the EIR.  The case confirms several important principles regarding the timing of EIRs in connection with public projects.  For any questions regarding this matter, please contact Todd A. Amspoker, a member of the firm.