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Judge rules city must reimburse Save Rancho Mirage’s attorney fees

RANCHO MIRAGE IN-N-OUT

A Riverside County judge ruled "Save Rancho Mirage" is the prevailing party in their lawsuit against the city of Rancho Mirage and In-N-Out.

The case dates back to October 2019, that's when Rancho Mirage announced plans to build and In-N-Out on Highway 111 near the River.

Nearby residents weren't happy with the announcement and came together to protest the move.

Rancho Mirage residents protest new In-N-Out location (Oct 2, 2019)

"In-N-Out may belong someplace in the city or maybe not but it doesn’t belong in this particular location," one person against the restaurant told the city council in 2019.

Rancho Mirage's ordinance prohibits fast-food restaurants from being built in areas like where it is planned. The burger chain worked with the planning commission on a conditional use permit to alter that ordinance.

This change in the ordinance is what brought about the organization's lawsuit later that month.

"Save Rancho Mirage" filed a lawsuit on behalf of those claiming the city "violated the California Environmental Quality Act by illegally claiming an exemption - and has illegally changed the zoning for the proposed project site."

"The Project is in direct contravention to the City's own General Plan and zoning requirements, and the requirements of well-established law under CEQA," reads court documents filed by "Save Rancho Mirage."

In January, In-N-Out dropped its defense of the lawsuit and terminated its agreement with the city.

On a post in social media, members "Save Rancho Mirage" announced they will be filing another suit against the City of Rancho Mirage for violations of the Brown Act and other allegations related to the way in the City has conducted itself with regard to the organization.

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Jesus Reyes

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