Win-River Resort and Casino owner Redding Rancheria told Shasta County Superior Court the city of Redding should restore land illegally sold to a private group back to public ownership, according to recent court filings.
A judge ruled in May that Redding's sale of city land near the casino's long-hoped expansion site violated the law.
In a filing made in early June, the tribe said Bechelli Lane "should be restored to ... a public street, with the underlying parcel in municipal ownership. Indeed, there is no legal basis for any of the City’s approvals or actions to remain in place."
The tribe also told Shasta County Superior Court Judge Tamara Wood that it wanted a prohibition on any "adverse changes to Bechelli Lane (and) its surroundings" until Redding has complied with California Environmental Quality Act rules. The Rancheria also requested unspecified fees and costs.
In its filing about remedies to the judge on June 17, Redding called voiding the transaction a "logical remedy."
But the city took issue with paying the tribe's legal fees.
"Without the opportunity to examine, explore and argue the basis for fee recovery," attorneys representing Redding wrote, the court should "deny fee recovery outright or demand further briefing on the matter."
The land's sale, approved by the City Council, raised questions because it was made quickly and out of the public eye.
Lawsuit determination: Redding's sale of city land near Win-River expansion site violated the law, judge rules
In her ruling made in May, Wood noted that it took 11 days from application to approval of the transaction to sell a 310-foot-long section of Bechelli Lane — the entryway to the tribe's property.
The judge also wrote in that ruling that “In moving with such haste and without notices to interested parties," the city had failed "follow their own processes, procedures and the relevant law.”
In her order made in June, Wood gave the tribe until June 3 to present its "remedies." Then, Shasta Land Holding's LLC and Redding officials had to respond to judge by June 17. After that, the tribe had until June 24 to reply.
Wood said the case would be "taken under submission on the issue of remedies" on June 24. The order does not specify when the judge will determine what happens after that.
Redding Rancheria had filed its lawsuit against the city of Redding and Shasta Land Holdings LLC in July 2020. They said the city improperly sold the city-owned parcel off Interstate 5 to the private group, saying it blocked access to its land and could therefore “kill” the tribe’s plan to relocate its casino to Sacramento River-front property the tribe owns in south Redding.
The LLC agreed to pay $3,000 for a property appraised at $1,075, Wood's ruling said, plus "indemnify the city up to $100,000 (both parties having recognized the likelihood of litigation) for property appraised at $1,075."
The trial took place in February.
Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please support our entire newsroom's commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.
This article originally appeared on Redding Record Searchlight: Win-River to Redding: Void illegal land sale