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Local News in Brief : Laguna Niguel : Dana Point Asks Ruling On Disputed Coastline

Hoping to resolve a lawsuit brought by Laguna Niguel residents, a Dana Point citizens group went to court Monday seeking a summary judgment that would allow the soon-to-be incorporated city to keep a 1.5-mile stretch of tax-rich coastline as part of its boundaries.

After more than three hours of testimony in his Santa Ana courtroom, Superior Court Judge William F. Rylaarsdam took the matter under submission.

Dana Point Citizens for Incorporation sought the summary judgment, hoping to avert a trial in the lawsuit brought in April by the Laguna Niguel Citizens Task Force for Incorporation.

The Laguna Niguel cityhood activists sued the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, which reviews incorporation proposals, seeking to stop Dana Point from taking the 1,400 acres of coastal land and asking that the county reconsider including it in the Laguna Niguel planned community.

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After a series of hearings, the commission in January turned the strip over to Dana Point for inclusion in its June 7 incorporation election. Residents in Dana Point, Capistrano Beach and the disputed strip voted to incorporate the city of Dana Point, effective Jan. 1, 1989.

Laguna Niguel residents claim that the county failed to consider their testimony during the public hearings and that the county illegally held an advisory election of affected coastal residents in November, 1987, without including other residents of Laguna Niguel in the binding vote.

County officials have denied the allegations, saying the commission followed proper procedures when deciding to turn the land over to Dana Point.


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