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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

City Files Suit Over Road Construction

September 15, 1998|ANDREW STEVEN HARRIS

In the latest development in a multimillion-dollar courtroom battle, the city of Thousand Oaks has filed a countersuit against two Dos Vientos developers over the controversial extension of Borchard Road.

The city approved the road extension two years ago at a 12% grade--7% steeper than codes allow--intending it to serve the 2,350-unit, $700-million Dos Vientos housing project.

But earlier this year a safety report commissioned by one of the developers declared the road dangerously steep, and the city halted work on the project in mid-July after widespread citizen protest.

The developers, Operating Engineers Pension Trust of Pasadena and the Miller Brothers Investments of Calabasas filed suit against the city, claiming more than $50 million in damages.

But after a court refused to temporarily lift the stop-work order on the road, city attorneys this week filed a cross-complaint against the developers. The complaint asks the court to declare that the city acted appropriately in revoking the developers' permission to continue work on the road.

If successful, the suit could silence the developers' claims that the city violated their rights and could prevent the road from being constructed as currently designed.

In a related development Monday, the court also consolidated the two suits filed separately by the developers, setting the stage for a Sept. 28 showdown to resolve all the legal issues in the dispute.

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