The city's approval of the project in May sparked tworeferendums to overturn the council's decision while Neiman Marcussupporters countered with an initiative of their own to affirm thecouncil's decision. In August, the city council decided to put theinitiative on the November ballot but did not act on thereferendums, prompting its supporters to file suit in Contra CostaCounty Superior Court.

Judge David Flinn on Sept. 1 ordered the city to put the tworeferendums on the ballet or reverse its approval, saying the citygave the initiative an unfair advantage by ignoring thereferendums. With no time to add the two referendums to theNovember ballot the city council this week was forced to do thelatter, thereby negating the referendums that were based on theproject's approval.

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