1/19/08 08 UPDATE

There hasn't been a lot to report about the continued struggle to save our hills since it became a court battle and our lawyers took the ball, Heres a recent City Council motion requesting funds for lawyers fees to defend the city's position that the permits for the proposed housing project in Elephant Hills are discressionary and not ministerial.

Dec. 1 4 2007
Monterey Hils Investors, LLC v. City of Los Angeles (Case No. BS
110114) involves a residential development project known as Elephant Hill that
is located in Council District 14. The lawsuit alleges that the City violated CEQA
when it refused to issue permits for a development that has been the subject of
an earlier-approved subdivision map.
Unlike most lawsuits, writ proceedings, such as the one involved here,
move quickly. The administrative record for the writ portion of the litigation will be
completed soon, the City has filed an Answer, and the developer has filed a
motion for a writ. The City's Opposition to that Motion is due on December 26,
Due to the significant case load of active CEQA cases at trial and on
appeal, and the complex nature of this litigation, this Office needs assistance
from outside counsel to represent the City in this pending lawsuit with CEQA,
land use, and constitutional claims for damages. The CEQA and land use claims
have a writ trial date in the near future. The three remaining damages claims
have potentially high exposure and are complex due to unusual issues of liability.
There is a need to expeditiously retain outside counsel because writ proceedings
move quickly and the City's written opposition to developer's motion for writ is
due on December 26,2007.
Based on proposals submitted and resultant interviews from a competitive
proposal process, it is recommended that the law firm of Meyers Nave be
retained to assist the City Attorney's Office with this litigation.
I MOVE that the City Council:
APPROVE the hiring of the law firm of Meyers Nave to assist with the
Elephant Hill Matter and transfer funds to pay for the contract in an initial amount
of $50,000 from the Unappropriated Balance, Outside Counsel including
Worker's Compensation line item, to the City Attorney, Fund No. 100,
Department 12, Account 9301, City Attorney Outside CounseL.
DEe ! 4 2007 . C'li
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