School Board May Sue Over Disney Resort EIR

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

The Garden Grove school board voted Tuesday to hire an attorney to pursue a possible lawsuit against Anaheim over the planned Disneyland resort.

Marshall Krupp, a consultant for the Garden Grove Unified School district, said the board took the unanimous action in closed session, contending that Anaheim's environmental impact report didn't fully consider the impact on Garden Grove schools.

He said the project would bring new Disney employees to the city, and that their children would attend Garden Grove schools.

"The board, however, remains open for discussion with Disney and the city to try to resolve the situation," Krupp said.

He added that a representative from Gov. Pete Wilson's office is acting as an mediator between local school districts and the city and Disney to try to resolve the conflicts.

The school board has until July 23 to file a suit.

A legal challenge to the resort and its EIR was not unexpected. Several groups have talked about suing over the project, and Disney and Anaheim officials have discussed at length who would pay court costs and possible legal damages. The deadline for lawsuits on the environmental document is July 23.

The proposed resort includes a major new theme park to be built next to Disneyland, a 5,000-seat amphitheater, shops, hotels and two huge parking garages.

Two weeks ago, the Anaheim City Council certified the EIR. Then last week, the council gave final approval to the project's planning and zoning documents, which cleared the way for the $3-billion Disneyland expansion to move forward.

But Disney officials said they are still waiting for public agencies to agree to $800 million in development costs before they commit to the project.

While Disney has agreed to pay for the $2.2-billion theme park, it wants public agencies to bear the cost of other improvements, such as street and freeway work needed to accommodate the anticipated traffic load.

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