STANTON : Council's Decision Legal, Attorney Says

The city's lawyer denied Friday that Stanton officials violated any law by agreeing in a private meeting to let a resident continue parking construction equipment in his yard for another year.

Former councilman Edward L. Allen has alleged that the City Council should have announced its Aug. 13 decision in public. Over Allen's objections, the decision allowed his next-door neighbor to violate the city's zoning laws.

But City Atty. Thomas W. Allen--no relation to the former councilman--said Friday that the council's decision did not need to be announced publicly.

The council had voted 4 to 0 in a scheduled closed session to give the city attorney permission to file the necessary papers in Superior Court to allow Lowell D. (Bud) Heitman another year to remove the equipment he uses for a backhoe business. An earlier court agreement signed by the city and Heitman set the removal date at May 1, 1991.

Because the Heitman issue could have resulted in further lawsuits filed either by the former councilman or by Heitman, the City Council was legally allowed to discuss the matter in secret, Thomas Allen said.

Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Jim Tanizaki said this week that Edward Allen's allegation was enough to warrant a preliminary investigation when time permits, but he said he has no evidence that Stanton officials acted improperly.

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