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Las Lomas developer files $100-million lawsuit against city of L.A.

June 16, 2008 |  5:32 pm

Lomas The suit filed today by the Las Lomas Land Co. alleges that the City Council's decision in March to halt review of the 5,553-home project near the junction of Interstate 5 and the Antelope Valley Freeway was illegal.

Click on the link below to read a full story by The Times' Jennifer Oldham.

Photo: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

In a 25-page complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Las Lomas Land Co. argues the council violated state law and the developer's constitutional right to due process when it voted 10 to 5 in March to instruct the Planning Department to stop processing an application to build the project. The unusual decision reflected the council’s heightened anxiety over increased traffic and growth.

The company is asking the court to order the city to finish complex environmental studies for the 555-acre project and for more than $100 million in damages, which represents profits the company would have reaped had the project been completed, said Carlyle Hall, an attorney who represents Developer Dan Palmer.

A spokesperson for Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said the office had yet to review the lawsuit.

The complaint cites an opinion by the city attorney that the council would be vulnerable to a lawsuit if it didn’t finish processing the project’s application. The developer also proposed that the city annex the property, which is in Los Angeles County, so he could access the city’s water supply and build more houses than the county allows.

For the last six years, processing of the project largely took place behind closed doors, as myriad Los Angeles city agencies tried to sort out how to provide services to the estimated 15,000 people who could live in Las Lomas, as well as businesses housed in commercial space that would be double the amount of the city of Carson.