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Oceanside Asks Judge to Review Growth Law : Housing: City files motion requesting reconsideration of a decision that favored developers in a suit over building limits.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Oceanside has asked Vista Superior Court Judge Herbert B. Hoffman to reconsider his decision that favored developers in a suit against the city’s growth-control law.

City Atty. Charles Revlett said Thursday that a motion has been filed asking Hoffman to change his Aug. 23 ruling because, he contends, it was based on factual and legal errors.

A hearing on the motion is set for Sept. 17. The issue is being monitored by cities throughout the state that have growth limitations.

Hoffman’s decision favored the Building Industry Assn. of San Diego and developer Del Oro Hills by concluding that the city’s growth control law, Proposition A, does not guarantee enough lower-income housing.

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Although the association praised the decision as doing much to invalidate Proposition A, it has become clear that Oceanside will continue to defend its law that was passed by voters in April 1987 and has cost the city $1.5 million in legal fees.

Revlett said the City Council, which discussed the litigation in closed-door session Thursday, “is unified. They are well aware that, once an ordinance is passed by initiative, they have a duty . . . to implement that ordinance to the very best of their ability.”

Mayor Larry Bagley was reluctant to talk about the city’s attitude, saying, “I don’t want to say anything that would give comfort or discomfort” to the association or Del Oro Hills.

The association’s attorney, Donald Worley, was unavailable Thursday to comment on the city’s request for reconsideration.

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Proposition A limits residential building to 800 units a year, or a cumulative total of 10,600 new dwellings by 1999. The 10,600 figure includes additional units that are exempt from Proposition A, including housing for seniors, low-or moderate-income families and rehabilitated units.

Although Hoffman agreed that Oceanside has exceeded its fair share of affordable housing, he felt Proposition A didn’t assure that the city would provide sufficient lower-income housing in the future.

Revlett argued that the judge based his decision on errors, including an undercount of how many affordable housing units the city actually has plans to build.

If Hoffman declines to reconsider, Revlett said he “definitely would not rule out” filing a writ to request that the state Court of Appeal consider the issue.

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The outcome of that appeal could help determine whether there is a trial, now planned to begin in October, over a separate aspect of Proposition A.


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