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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : Suit Against Housing Plan

March 26, 1992

Claiming that the city has illegally amended its housing plan, a landlord and property owners group has filed suit over an ordinance that would require 30% of most new multiunit residential projects to be set aside for people of low and moderate income.

The suit comes in response to the City Council's passage last month of an ordinance to implement Proposition R, a measure approved by city voters in 1990 that raises the level of required affordable housing required in new projects from 15% to 30%.

Filing suit in Santa Monica Superior Court as the nonprofit Santa Monica Housing Council, the opponents contend that the measure is too severe and will halt housing development in the city.

The lawsuit argues that a quota of 15%, in effect since 1987, should remain in place because state housing officials never approved a housing plan for Santa Monica based on Proposition R and its 30% requirement.

However, City Atty. Robert M. Myers said Tuesday night that Proposition R does not need state approval because of Santa Monica's status as charter city, which gives it substantially greater autonomy in such matters.

A hearing is scheduled for May 4 in Santa Monica Superior Court on the housing council's request for a preliminary injunction against the new ordinance.

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