Opponents of Santa Monica Airport suffer another court defeat

Opponents of Santa Monica Airport suffer their second court defeat in a week

In another defeat this week for opponents of Santa Monica Airport, a Los Angeles judge on Friday gutted a second lawsuit that sought to keep an initiative to protect the facility off the November ballot.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell rejected all the claims brought by an anti-airport group, which alleged that Measure D was misleading, improperly prepared by the Santa Monica city attorney and violated the state Constitution.

The initiative, which is backed by a coalition of airport supporters and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn., would require voter approval to shut down the airport, alter its land use or restrict aviation-related activities.

O'Donnell ruled that three of the lawsuit allegations had already been dismissed in a similar case that was heard by Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin earlier this week.

She also threw out claims that the ballot argument in favor of Measure D was false and misleading and that the city attorney's analysis of the initiative was not impartial.

O'Donnell concluded that the allegations were precluded by Lavin's decision to throw out the first lawsuit and the analysis and argument were not false and misleading.

"This is just another victory for freedom of speech and the right of the people to decide the fate of Santa Monica Airport," said attorney David Shaby, a board member for Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development, a supporter of the ballot measure.

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