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Judge Rejects a Lawsuit to Block Growth Initiative

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A San Diego Superior Court judge has rejected the first of two lawsuits filed to block a managed-growth ballot initiative sponsored by the group Prevent Los Angelization Now.

In a ruling dated Tuesday, Judge James R. Milliken denied a request by Taxpayers for Civic Responsibility to keep the Planned Growth and Taxpayer Relief Initiative off the June, 1992 ballot.

The coalition of real estate consultants had contended that PLAN violated a new state law by failing to note on petitions that both volunteers and paid circulators solicited signatures in support of the ballot measure.

Milliken agreed with attorneys for the city of San Diego--the defendant in the lawsuit--that PLAN’s signature-gathering process was governed by the local election code, not the state law.

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PLAN’s initiative, which has been certified for the next city-wide election, seeks to force builders to pay their share of the services required to accompany new development--a requirement that some building industry officials say already is being met.

The initiative also prohibits new development if it reduces the number of police officers per capita or increases the likelihood of water shortages, water rationing or increased water rates.

A spokesman for the Taxpayers group said Thursday that no decision has been made on whether to appeal Milliken’s decision.

In a separate action Thursday, Milliken scheduled a hearing Oct. 3 on a second lawsuit aimed at the PLAN initiative. He also denied a request by the second organization, San Diegans for Economic Stability, to preclude City Council deliberations on the PLAN initiative Sept. 9.

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The council must adopt PLAN’s initiative or put it before voters on next June’s ballot. PLAN is seeking postponement of the discussion until after the Sept. 17 City Council elections.

San Diegans for Economic Stability contends that the inclusion of language in the PLAN initiative mandating “livable” wages for construction workers violates provisions of the California Constitution and City Charter that outlaw initiatives covering a wide variety of unrelated issues.


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