A Mendocino County judge has struck down the fee the Ukiah Unified School District charges a new development project.
Mendocino County Judge Cindee Mayfield stated in her Nov. 5 ruling that the school district failed to adequately document why the fees were necessary. She also found that there was no evidence that the school board adopted the 2012 study upon which the fees were supposed to have been based.
"The findings in the (fee) resolution are mere conclusions not supported by any evidence," she wrote.
Mayfield ruled the district must refund development fees, plus interest, to builder Steve Gomes, who filed the lawsuit. Gomes was required to pay the district $13,500 when he tore down six homes and replaced them with five new ones, his attorney, Matisse Knight stated Friday when he released the case information.
"If anything, his project was reducing the potential impact on the district," Knight said.
School district officials could not be reached Friday for comment. It was unclear Friday how the ruling will affect other construction projects in the Ukiah area.
This is the second lawsuit Gomes has won against the district over its fees.
A state Court of Appeal in 2007 ordered the district to repay Gomes about $100,000, plus interest, in school impact fees.
Victims identified in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino fires
Tubbs fire, Sonoma County:
Karen Aycock, 56, Santa Rosa
Christina Hanson, 27, Santa Rosa
Linda Tunis, 69, Santa Rosa
Carol Collins-Swasey, 76, Santa Rosa
Lynne Anderson Powell, 72, Santa Rosa
Arthur Tasman Grant, 95, Santa Rosa
Suiko Grant, 75, Santa Rosa
Donna Mae Halbur, 80, Larkfield
Leroy Peter Halbur, 80, Larkfield
Valerie Lynn Evans, 75, Santa Rosa
Carmen Caldentey Berriz, 75, Apple Valley (vacationing in Santa Rosa)
Michael John Dornbach, 57, rural Calistoga
Veronica Elizabeth McCombs, 67, Santa Rosa
Redwood/Potter Valley fires, Mendocino County:
Roy Howard Bowman, 87, Redwood Valley
Irma Elsie Bowman, 88, Redwood Valley
Kai Logan Shepherd, 14, Redwood Valley
Atlas fire, Napa County:
George Chaney, 89, Napa
Edward Stone, 79, Napa
Charles Rippey, 100, Napa
Sara Rippey, 98, Napa