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High Court Won't Block New Developments

April 25, 1985

The state Supreme Court has refused to intercede in a suit by residents of the Verdugo Woodlands area in Glendale seeking to block new developments with densities greater than would be allowed under a proposed zoning ordinance.

The state court action resulted from a request by the Verdugo Woodlands Homeowners and Residents Assn. for an immediate restraining order prohibiting the city from granting new building permits for high-density development in areas expected to be "downzoned."

The homeowners' group in March filed suit against the city and developers to halt what they charge is a rush by builders to begin construction of apartment and condominium projects with more units than may be permitted once the city adopts comprehensive new zoning laws.

The Supreme Court ruling last week means that the matter will be returned to the Los Angeles Superior Court, where a trial is not expected to be heard for at least six months. The Superior Court last month rescinded an earlier restraining order, and homeowners are appealing that decision before the Los Angeles Appellate Court.

William F. Hertz, attorney for the homeowners, said the Supreme Court ruling does not affect the basic contention of the suit that the City Charter prohibits high-density construction in areas proposed to be downzoned.

The ruling means the city can continue issuing permits and builders can begin construction. However, Hertz said, a court could still rule later that the action was wrong and require builders to halt construction or tear down what was built--a threat jeopardizing any such new development in the city.

"This case is far from over," Hertz said.

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