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Las Lomas Lawsuit Thrown Out By Judge

5,500 home development between Santa Clarita and Los Angeles rejected by Superior Court

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A Superior Court judge has thrown out the lawsuit by the developers of the Las Lomas project that would have forced the City to re-open review of the massive 5,500 home mini-city, marking another resounding defeat of Las Lomas.

The judgment was handed down on December 12, the same day that Dan Palmer, the developer of Las Lomas Land Company LLC resigned from the company for “personal reasons.”

The project was opposed by both the Los Angeles and Santa Clarita City Councils, which cited the negative environmental impacts of the project from its inception. Further controversy arose when the ownership of land parcels included in the development came into question.

Both L.A. City Councilman Greig Smith and Assemblyman Cameron Smyth asked L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley to investigate Palmer for perjury. Both legislators also asked the state’s Attorney General and the Department of Real Estate to determine if he committed real estate fraud, a crime punishable with prison time.

“I am delighted that after six years of fighting this ill-conceived project, it appears to be finally dead,” said Smith, who led a broad coalition of community members and groups, Neighborhood Councils, elected officials and environmental advocates in  opposing the massive development.

The developers proposed building 2 million square feet of commercial space, a 300-room hotel, and over 5,500 homes in the north San Fernando Valley where the 5 and 14 Freeways converge. The site is an environmentally sensitive area that is a huge traffic bottleneck for the region.

“This victory is a great holiday gift for the community,” Smith said.

A 10-to-5 majority of the City Council sided with Councilman Smith’s position that Las Lomas would have been disastrous for the community, for public safety, for traffic, and for the environment, and voted to reject the Las Lomas project in March.

After the defeat in Council, the Las Lomas developers sued the City for $100 million and tried to force it to reopen review of the project. The judge in the case rejected every aspect of the lawsuit on Friday, effectively ending this last-ditch effort by the developers.