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California Supreme Court won’t review housing advocacy group’s appeal against Huntington Beach

California Supreme Court won’t review housing advocacy group’s appeal against Huntington Beach
The city of Huntington Beach claimed a “significant victory” when the California Supreme Court declined to review an affordable-housing advocacy group’s appeal in its lawsuit against the city. (File Photo)

The California Supreme Court has declined to review an affordable-housing advocacy group's appeal that challenged Huntington Beach's decision to reduce the number of units allowed in a development plan, effectively ending the case.

City Attorney Michael Gates called the court's decision, issued Wednesday, a "significant victory."

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The Irvine-based Kennedy Commission had alleged in a lawsuit that the city violated state housing law in 2015 when, amid residents' complaints about overdevelopment throughout the city, it reduced the number of permitted housing units in the Beach Boulevard-Edinger Avenue corridor from 4,500 to 2,100.

The Kennedy Commission argued the move would make Huntington Beach unable to meet its low-income housing requirements.

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Gates contended the change was valid because Huntington Beach is a charter city, which gives it more local control and exemptions from state zoning laws.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sided with the Kennedy Commission in 2015, but that decision was overturned last year by a panel of the California 4th District Court of Appeal.

The Kennedy Commission appealed to the state Supreme Court.

In November, when the state appellate court favored Huntington Beach, Gates said, "We were right all along, and now the city of Huntington Beach can exercise the local control that outsiders, like the Kennedy Commission, claimed we couldn't."

He called the case an example of how charter cities should not "give up local control by giving in to special interests outside your city simply because of another lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit."

Cesar Covarrubias, executive director of the Kennedy Commission, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Twitter: @BradleyZint

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