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The Baltimore Sun

Neighbor group lawsuit has trial date

A Huntington Beach grassroots organization that wants to limit growth downtown and the number of liquor licenses is moving forward with litigation against a project that will increase development, with a trial date this winter.

The Huntington Beach Neighbors filed a lawsuit against the city in December claiming officials violated the California Environmental Quality Act by not adequately analyzing the impacts the Downtown Specific Plan will have on downtown residents. The lawsuit is scheduled to go to court Jan. 13.

The Neighbors contend officials didn't complete a proper environmental impact report (EIR), which analyzes the effects the project will have, and want it redone with a new project that reflects more accurate findings.

"We want the city to do proper due diligence," said Neighbor President David Rice.

The Downtown Specific Plan is a long-range planning document that dictates building and parking specifications and design guidelines and will increase development over the next 20 years.

The group asserts the report did not fully take into account the changes the plan will have on parking, traffic, noise, water and public services, according to the lawsuit.

"The project's EIR fails to provide adequate information and adequate analysis of the significant adverse environmental impacts associated with this project," according to the lawsuit. To read the full lawsuit, go to

City Atty. Jennifer McGrath said the case is proceeding, and the city will defend itself.

"We obviously disagree with the lawsuit," she said.

The neighbors want reduced density, a limit to the expansion of liquor licenses and an increase in the buffer zones to the neighborhoods.

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