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City and Local Business Prevail in Court Case

Post Date:October 24, 2017 12:31 pm

The California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District recently ruled in favor of the city of Davis and Catherine LeBlanc on all counts in a land use lawsuit brought by Michael Harrington against the city and Catherine LeBlanc, a local business owner. This decision upholds the previous trial court decision, which also ruled in the City’s favor.

The Court issued its decision, which allows Ms. LeBlanc’s business to continue operating in its current location, under the conditional use permit (CUP) issued by the city.  Ms. LeBlanc is a marriage and family therapist and owns a property on 7th street, in an area where zoning allows for uses such as nursery schools, medical clinics and professional offices, if the owner receives a conditional use permit.  Via a valid public process, Ms. LeBlanc received a CUP from the city to use the property as therapists’ offices for up to three therapists. The property had previously been used as a massage and acupuncture clinic. 

This ruling upholds the city’s decision and surrounding process regarding the CUP, and the city’s findings related to required parking for the site.  The project was vetted in several public settings, first at the Planning Commission, which approved the project 5-1, and then later on appeal by Harrington to City Council, which voted unanimously in favor of the project.  The property meets with all state and local building codes and provides the correct number of on-site parking spaces, as required by local rules and regulations.

“The appellate court’s strong ruling in favor of the city and Ms. LeBlanc shows that the city acted appropriately, according to our community’s established rules, and with respect to the proper public process,” said Mayor Robb Davis. “I am pleased that both the Trial Court and the Appellate Court realized there was no merit to the plaintiff’s allegations. Now the city can focus on providing services to the community rather than spending time, energy and money to defend ourselves in unnecessary lawsuits.”

The appellate court has also determined that this decision will be published in the appellate law reports, which means that the decision will be citable in other cases with similar situations.   A copy of the case is available at City Offices.

For more information, please contact the City of Davis City Manager’s Office at 530-757-5602 or

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