Arbitration Ordered for Bolsa Chica Dispute

From Times Staff Reports

Amigos de Bolsa Chica must enter arbitration with the owner of property overlooking the Bolsa Chica wetlands to determine whether the environmental group violated a confidential 1989 settlement, a court commissioner has ruled.

Landowner Signal Landmark alleges that Amigos agreed to end a lawsuit and support a development plan for Bolsa Chica in exchange for $1.2 million. That confidential 1989 agreement became public this year when Signal sued Amigos, saying the group breached it repeatedly.

Amigos representatives said the group never agreed to support the developer forever--only to back a conceptual planning agreement that Signal abandoned four years later.

On Friday, Superior Court Commissioner F. Latimer Gould ordered the environmental group to enter arbitration.

In November, the Coastal Commission limited development to 1,235 homes on 65 acres of the mesa. That decision is being challenged in court.

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