Capdiamont\’s Weblog


MIJ: Reporter’s notebook: Unknown Novato citizens group protests theater sale
Sunday 24 Feb 2008, 09:21
Filed under: NCRA | Tags:

Seems as though NCRA’s lawyer is being paid by Citizens to Preserve Downtown Novato to oppose the sale of the city owned theater without an EIR. Despite opponents trying to list Christopher J. Neary as a one trick pony, only for the railroad, he is a lawyer in “Real Property, Probate and Trust Law. Business Law. Environmental Law, Municipal Law.” according to his website. Anybody can hire him, and people have. I guess people don’t like it when Novato/Marin come under the same pressure as the railroad.

More from his website:

Admitted: 1976, California, U.S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts of California and U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Tax Court

Law School: Humphreys College, J.D., 1975

College: University of the Pacific, B.A., 1970

Member: Mendocino County Bar Association (President, 2003); State Bar of California (Environmental Law Section).

Biography: District Trustee, Willits Unified School District, 1980-1992.

Born: Miami Beach, Florida, August 7, 1948

ISLN: 904213186

Well on to the article.

Staff Report
Article Launched: 02/21/2008 11:37:05 PM PST

A lawyer representing rail interests who are locked in a lawsuit with Novato has also signed up to represent a Novato group protesting the sale of the Novato Theater on Grant Avenue.

But no one has heard of the Citizens to Preserve Downtown Novato, which Willits-based lawyer Christopher J. Neary said hired him to represent them. Neary also represents the North Coast Rail Authority in its lawsuit with Novato over rail service through town. Novato contends the rail authority has failed to study environmental impacts of its plans.

Equally baffling, city officials say, is that no one ever expressed concern about the proposed sale of the theater at any public meeting.

Go figure: Neary declined to identify his clients.

“I’ve never heard of them and have no clue who they are,” council member Carole Dillon-Knutson said. “Who are they and what are they talking about?”

Coy Smith, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and Denise Athas, president of the Downtown Novato Business Association, were at a loss as well.

But Neary said the group is protesting the proposed sale – saying it is not exempt from environmental guidelines because it may have impacts like parking and traffic.

Mayor Pat Eklund noted a $10.5 million revitalization
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project on Grant Avenue was approved in 2001 and finalized in 2004. The program includes sale of the city-owned theater, which will be preserved by new owners.

“We haven’t heard a single iota of objection to the theater being preserved,” said City Manager Dan Keen. “This comes completely out of the blue.”

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1 Comment

[…] Novato Seems although some thought I should watch for a NCRA connection with the Novato Theater, Neary had nothing to do with the Theater demise. Their city council killed it. Staff Report Article […]

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