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STUDIO CITY : Golf Course Wins Renewal of Permit

The Los Angeles Board of Zoning Appeals has granted the Studio City Golf Course a new permit to operate a course in an agricultural zone, a defeat for the owners of the land.

Weddington Investment Partnership had been trying to renegotiate the lease or evict the golf course operators.

“We were very pleased by the enthusiastic and positive response from the Board of Zoning Appeals,” said George McCallister, golf course manager.

The decision deals a blow to Weddington, which contended that the golf course’s lease was nullified when the course’s previous permit expired.

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The landowners wanted to rent the land at higher rates than the $1,000 per month provided under the 40-year-old lease. The owners thought they had the legal standing to do so after discovering last May that the permit had expired in 1985.

In its decision announced Jan. 3, the zoning appeals board overturned an Oct. 18 ruling by Associate Zoning Administrator Horace Tramel denying the permit because of questions over the golf course’s legal standing as a tenant.

But in November, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit by Weddington that charged that the previous permit’s expiration had voided the lease.

Larry Iser, an attorney for the golf course, said the ruling meant that the golf course had fulfilled the terms of the lease despite the lapsed permit. That court ruling set the stage for the board’s decision to grant the permit.

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“It appeared that the tenant and his business was supported by the community, and the community wanted to keep it there,” said Peter Weil, chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Weddington has until Jan. 18 to appeal the board’s decision. Guy Weddington McCreary said he and his partners will probably decide within the next week whether they will appeal.

“It was wrong,” McCreary said of the board’s decision. “It’s like property rights don’t really mean anything.”

The new permit is good for 10 years.

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