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City Drops Appeal of Grading Project

November 13, 1998|ANDREW STEVEN HARRIS

The city will not appeal a court order allowing a 12% grading of Borchard Road, but has obtained an agreement from the developers that, if approved by a Ventura County Superior Court judge, restores city authority over other street improvements, such as paving, speed bumps and medians.

Attorneys from both sides say the proposed agreement could lead to more litigation, because the city could use its authority to delay construction.

"There's still a number of major issues yet to be resolved," said Los Angeles attorney Steven Weston, representing a developer, Miller Brothers Investments. "That lawsuit is still very much alive."

The council in July 1996 voted to approve the extension of Borchard Road as one of the two major thoroughfares that feed the 2,350-unit, $700-million Dos Vientos housing project, at a 12% grade, which is 7% greater than city code allows.

Earlier this year, an independent traffic report deemed the grade dangerously steep, and the council issued a stop-work order July 14 in response to residents' protest. The property's developers in turn filed suit.

Superior Court Judge David W. Long ruled on Sept. 28 that the city had already given permission to developers to build the steeply graded road, and with only 300 feet to go, could not stop construction.

But city officials quickly filed a motion to reconsider the ruling, arguing that it exceeded the scope of the lawsuit and tampered with their rights over city-owned roads. The developers have now agreed to return those rights to the city, and the city has dropped its appeal.

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