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Appeal filed in council suit

August 29, 2002

The man who unsuccessfully sued the City Council two weeks ago has

filed an appeal in a continued effort to force the council to put

before voters this November the initiative that would split

Huntington Beach into five council districts.

Superior Court Judge Dennis Sheldon Choate, last week, ruled that

the City Council did not overstep its bounds when it decided to put

off a vote that could eliminate two council positions until March

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2004.

Joseph Jeffrey, a Huntington Beach resident, filed an appeal on

Aug. 22, the day after a judge sided with the council. Jeffrey said

he is encouraged by the fact that his appeal was accepted.

"Our request has not been denied, the city has been instructed to

respond to our complaint," he said.

Jeffrey contends that by delaying the vote, the council is going

against the wishes of the 22,000 registered voters who signed the

petition to put it on the ballot.

"The judge in my estimation should have seen what the city was

doing. Even if their action was legal, it was morally wrong," he

said.

An appellate court judge will now either deny the appeal or decide

if oral arguments will be heard, said Richard Barnard, deputy city

administrator.

While it is not exactly known when the appeals court will issue a

ruling, it is believed that it will be done soon so that the issue

can be resolved prior to the November election.

"They are not going to drag it out," Barnard said.

Councilwoman Shirley Dettloff is optimistic that the appeals court

will side with the council, she said.

"I think we got a very fair ruling," she said. "I think that the

reason it was fair was that having a later date allows citizens to

get all the facts."

-- Jose Paul Corona

Strand project to go before city board

The Huntington Beach Environmental Board will

hold a special meeting

tonight to discuss the draft of the environmental report for the

proposed Strand project, which is slated to replace the first couple

of blocks of Downtown.

The Strand would take nearly three acres of land Downtown bounded

by Main Street, Pacific Coast Highway, Walnut and 5th avenues and

convert the area into a retail venue with big-name stores, offices,

restaurants and a 152-room hotel.

A 397-space underground parking lot would also be built beneath

project if it's built.

The report was issued in July, and the 45-day public comment

period will expire next week, said Ricky Ramos, an associate city

planner .

When the public comment period ends and if the environmental board

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