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COSTA MESA : Builder Files Claim Against School District

October 21, 1994|PSYCHE PASCUAL

A Costa Mesa builder has filed a $2.5-million claim accusing a Los Angeles County school district of reneging on a deal to sell 13 acres of land in Cerritos where the developer planned to build homes.

The claim, filed by Warmington Homes against the ABC Unified School District, accuses the school board of breaching a joint-venture agreement that would have allowed Warmington to build 61 homes near Whitney High School.

Under the agreement, the school district was to receive a percentage of money from each home sold, but problems arose earlier this month after the school board deadlocked 3 to 3 on the $18-million project.

The district's approval of the business plan and transfer of property from district to developer was among the last major hurdles before construction. The school board last year approved an agreement to sell 13 acres to the developer for $7.7 million. But the project's future became clouded after last November's election, when a new school board majority came to power.

The Cerritos City Council tentatively approved the development last summer.

Warmington officials and their attorneys declined to discuss the claim, which is required before a lawsuit can be filed against a public agency. But board members who support the development say it would have brought in money to repair schools around the district.

Warmington planned to give the district about $100,000 once the developer had taken over the property.

Board members who voted against the project "put us into a multimillion-dollar liability situation," board member Dixie Primosch said. "They violated the contract."

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