News In Brief : City, Developer to Pay Legal Fees

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that the City of El Segundo and a developer must pay $23,230 in legal expenses to a community activist group that successfully blocked a large commercial development.

Judge Warren H. Deering ordered the city and Continental Development Co. to each pay $11,615 to the Group United for Residential Rights, known as GURR. The group will use the money to pay Barbara Blinderman, a public interest attorney.

The group wound up with the legal bill after Continental challenged a February referendum that GURR had qualified for the municipal ballot. The referendum, which was approved by voters, forced Continental to scale back a 1.1-million-square-foot office complex it had planned to build in the city. The project had received City Council approval.

After the measure passed, the company unsuccessfully sued the city, alleging the referendum was improperly worded and should be overturned. In his ruling, Deering said that even though the city was a defendant in the lawsuit, it sided with the developer and therefore should pay half the legal fees incurred by GURR.

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