THOUSAND OAKS : Hearing on Project Moved to May 11

A Superior Court hearing that will determine the fate of a controversial Thousand Oaks development has been rescheduled for May 11, officials said Monday.

Developer Nedjatollah Cohan's lawsuit against the city had been scheduled to be heard this morning by Judge John H. Hunter.

But the case has been reassigned to Judge Melinda Johnson, who needs more time to review the matter, Thousand Oaks City Atty. Mark Sellers said.

Cohan sued the city last year after the council rejected his plans to build a shopping mall and 170 residences on his 47-acre Newbury Park property, situated on a flood plain at the southwest corner of Reino Road and Kimber Drive.

Cohan's suit accuses the City Council of violating the state's open-meeting law by considering--and ultimately rejecting--the project without first putting the issue on the weekly agenda.

The council's rejection came a few weeks after the Planning Commission approved Cohan's blueprints for the project. Both sides say that if Cohan wins the lawsuit, he will be allowed to proceed with his development. If the city wins, the council is expected to attempt to rezone the property to block future commercial development.

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