A Superior Court hearing to determine the validity of a petition with more than 1,000 signatures collected by a slow-growth group in Seal Beach was set for Dec. 2.
Judge Harmon G. Scoville set the new date because an attorney for the Seal Beach Preservation Initiative Group, known as Spring, said she had not yet received the city's arguments on the issue, Seal Beach City Atty. Gregory W. Stepanicich said Friday. The hearing was to have been held Thursday.
The petitions seek to place a controversial slow-growth measure before the city's voters in a special election.
On Oct. 3, Spring filed suit in Superior Court to force the city to accept all signatures gathered.
The Elections Code requires that a notice of intent to circulate a petition must be published 21 days before signatures may be collected. City officials had said they would reject many of the signatures because the petition was circulated Sept. 18 through Oct. 9.
Spring published its notice Aug. 28 in the Los Alamitos News Enterprise. But the city claims it should have been published in the Seal Beach Journal.
The notice then was published in the Journal on Sept. 18.
1,400 Signatures Collected
If at least 10% of the city's 19,081 registered voters sign the petition, the City Council must either adopt the initiative unaltered or schedule a future special election, said City Clerk Joanne Yeo. The group has collected about 1,400 signatures, Spring treasurer John McCantz said.
The group has 180 days to collect signatures after publication of its notice of intent is approved, Yeo said.
Reva Turchin, the Spring member who filed suit against the city, said Friday: "We'll pursue, no matter what, regardless of (the court's) decision. If we have to, we'll go out and get new ones."
One portion of the proposed initiative would prevent development of the Mary E. Zoeter School site. The property, owned by the Los Alamitos Unified School District, would be zoned "parkland in perpetuity."
Measure M on Tuesday's ballot would authorize a $1.9-million bond issue to purchase part of the Zoeter site from the school district. The fate of that measure remained undecided as absentee ballots from the election continued to be counted, county officials said Friday. A final tally is expected Monday.