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OUR DAY IN COURT January 18, 2024

Updated: Jan 12

Over the past year, OSEE and the City have tried, but unfortunately failed, to reach a compromise. The lawsuit will now be decided by a judge in the State Superior Court, Contra Costa County,on January 18, 2024. Since OSEE filed our Opening Brief, the City has filed their Response Brief and OSEE filed our Reply Brief. All of these briefs are in the public domain and can be found at the top of the News page of this website.

No matter how the judge rules on the court case, OSEE will continue to push for the City to do a thorough analysis of the impacts of Plan Orinda on Orinda's emergency response capabilities and evacuation capacity. The Evacuation Analysis, prepared by a planning and design firm for the City, did not include the expected traffic from build-out of the 1,618 housing units in Plan Orinda. This left the EIR with a very limited "qualitative" analysis of how the added traffic would impact evacuation. Basically, the EIR simply affirmed the obvious - that since Orinda's emergency response capability and evacuation capacity is bad now, Plan Orinda will make things worse.

To reduce or solve the problems, OSEE has and will continue to push for a substantive analysis by a qualified traffic engineering firm, relying on wildfire behavior modeling of scenarios identified by MOFD, continued close coordination with MOFD and assuming traffic from the build-out of Plan Orinda, to obtain the data needed to develop solutions, including:

  • Estimates of evacuation times from all parts of Orinda under the most likely wildfire scenarios and conditions as identified by MOFD.

  • Identification of where the estimated evacuation times are likely to be insufficient to meet the demand in the event of a wildfire, with an estimate of the number of people who would likely not evacuate successfully.

  • Identification and specific descriptions of the major constraints such as particular intersections, roadway segments, choke-points, etc.

  • Development of potential mitigations or alternatives that could address the constraints, with measurement of the improvements wherever possible. (Measurements such as estimates of reductions in evacuation times by each mitigation/alternative and the number of people that would be affected positively).

  • The creation of a prioritized list of mitigations and alternatives.

  • The creation of an action plan to include project descriptions, funding sources, completion schedules and specific assignment of responsibility for each mitigation/alternative.

Please contribute today to help OSEE cover our legal fees. All of our funding has been from generous individual Orindans. Any funds that might be returned to us through the lawsuit will be distributed back proportionately, so sharing the costs with more of our fellow Orindans will be greatly appreciated. You can donate in the following ways:

  • Mail a check (made out to OSEE) to OSEE, P.O. Box 2046, Orinda, CA 94563

  • Click here

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