Preservation Action Council v. City of San Jose (2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 1336

The mid-century architectural and historic landmark IBM Building 25 was proposed for demolition to build a big-box Lowe's store. Demolition was approved by the City of San Jose without adequate consideration of feasible alternatives to demolition. The Sixth District Court of Appeal ruled that the City failed to conduct "independent analysis of the validity of Lowe’s’ claim that the reduced size alternative is infeasible."

Following the appeal, the City prepared a revised EIR and again approved demolition despite City staff's and the EIR's recommendations to the contrary. The Superior Court ruled in favor of PAC-SJ's objections to the writ return, finding that there were feasible alternatives to demolition and that the City had again violated CEQA in approving demolition. After Lowe's filed a new appeal, the parties engaged in settlement negotiations. On the eve of signing a settlement that would have preserved a portion of Building 25, it was tragically destroyed by fire in March 2008. A revised settlement agreement has resulted in reconstruction of a representative portion of the building and a compatible new store design.

IBM Building 25

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