OPEN MEETINGS -- A San Mateo County Superior Court judge has blocked the city of East Palo Alto from discussing or taking any action on the dispute over a proposed Mi Pueblo Food Center, issuing a temporary injunction in response to a Brown Act complaint, reports Diana Samuels for the Palo Alto Daily News.

Last
month, the East Palo Alto Planning Commission approved building permits
and a liquor license for the supermarket proposed for the Ravenswood
101 Retail Center. But the East Palo Alto Merchants Association, a
group that opposes plans for the new store, appealed the commission's
decision and filed a lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court.

The
association's lawsuit alleges the commission violated the Ralph M.
Brown public meetings act, because it improperly rescheduled its vote
on the supermarket. The association says that during a May 26 meeting,
a vote on the store was set for July 13. But later in the meeting,
after most of the interested parties had left, commissioners reopened
the matter and moved the vote up to June 12.

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A hearing on the matter — the next step in the process — is scheduled for Aug. 6.

The injunction shows Judge Foiles "has seen enough to indicate there may very well be a Brown Act violation," merchants association lawyer Ron Chauvel said.

The
association believes that because the June 12 meeting was a violation
of the Brown Act, anything that happened at that meeting and afterward
should be voided, Chauvel said.