A Superior Court judge Wednesday ordered Long Beach officials to delay plans to tear down a baseball field to make way for a park at the Carmelitos housing project until a hearing can be held on the issue.
D. Sterry Fagan, a retired judge who is filling in on the bench, set an Aug. 17 hearing in a lawsuit brought by Legal Aid of Long Beach on behalf of a Carmelitos residents group and two activists.
Dennis Rockway, senior counsel for Legal Aid, said the lawsuit asks that the city be ordered to produce environmental documentation before constructing a park. The City Council approved the project June 14.
The city allegedly abridged a contract with residents that it would not remove the baseball field, which may have been at the site for as long as 40 years, Rockway said. Residents fear that if the field is converted to a park, it could become an attraction for gang activity and drug dealing.