THOUSAND OAKS : Builder Won't Drop Suit Against City

Despite winning approval for a flood control project that will remove dozens of oak trees, Lang Ranch developers are refusing to drop a lawsuit against Thousand Oaks.

In a motion submitted to federal court Judge Dickran Tevrizian on Monday, Lang Ranch Co. attorney Karen Lee argues that the developer never agreed to the scaled-back version of the dam and debris basin approved by the City Council.

The modifications, known as Concept B, would save as many as 80 of the 140 century-old oak trees threatened by the project. Two weeks ago, soon after the company first filed a lawsuit demanding that it be relieved of the responsibility to construct the $5-million project, the City Council unanimously approved Concept B.

City Atty. Mark Sellers said he still hopes an agreement can be reached with the developer prior to the hearing on Monday.

"They filed a lawsuit because of the impasse on the City Council," Sellers said. "Now that the council has acted, there is no need for court intervention."

But he said the city has transcripts from public hearings that prove Lang Ranch did agree to Concept B.

"It's absolutely clear to me that they said they would do option B," Sellers said. "They said, 'we don't care, you decide.' They can't deny that.

"I'm literally in shock that they are backpedaling," he said.

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