Bruce T. Bauer has won $64,571.35 in attorney fees on behalf of his client, Save Rancho Mirage, in a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) case filed against In-N-Out Burgers Restaurant and the city of Rancho Mirage.
The case began in October 2019 when Save Rancho Mirage took action against the city and In-N-Out, claiming that both had ignored residents’ concerns about placing a popular fast-food restaurant in the Las Palmas Shopping Center.
Save Rancho Mirage is a community-based unincorporated association organized under the laws of the State of California. It is a group of non-partisan Rancho Mirage residents formed to preserve, protect and promote the quality of life for the residents of Rancho Mirage. It is currently funded by member donations.
Rancho Mirage residents raised concerns to the City Council early on in the development process, yet project plans were approved despite their urgent requests to protect the proposed site. According to Save Rancho Mirage, a drive-through in this particular area would potentially increase traffic and crime rates, and negatively impact air-quality. Ultimately, in late January 2020, In-N-Out agreed to conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in the CEQA case and announced, through the City, that it had terminated the project and would proceed with the EIR.
On June 29, 2020, Save Rancho Mirage was awarded attorney fees since its actions were the catalyst for the In-N-Out decision. Although In-N-Out rescinded its development plans with the city in January 2019, Bauer pursued further action by filing for reimbursement of attorney fees. The court accepted his request, agreeing that In-N-Out’s decision was brought about by Save Rancho Mirage’s filed complaint.
The suit against the city of Rancho Mirage and In-N-Out was meant to protect the residents of the city and the members of the association.
- Bruce T. Bauer: Bruce T. Bauer
- In-n-out Burger: shutterstock