The city made an agreement with Makar to spend money from Pacific City, a 31-acre multi-use site, on developing the new center.
The money is part of the Quimby Act, which requires developers to pay a fee for projects that don’t create new open space.
The money must be used to preserve open space, establish recreational facilities or fund other facilities for future Pacific City residents’ use. The judge ruled using all the funds from Makar for the senior center violates the Quimby Act.
Makar has already put more than $1 million into the project, City Administrator Fred Wilson said.
The facility, which was to be built on a 5-acre section of Huntington Central Park, was expected to be completed in April 2011 and would have replaced the Michael E. Rodgers Seniors’ Center on Orange Avenue with a 45,000-square-foot, one-story center.
The Parks Legal Defense Fund, a citizens group, filed a lawsuit against the city in March 2008 challenging the project.
The city was ordered to go back to the drawing board and prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report looking into alternative locations.
The City Council voted Monday to appeal the court ruling.
3 Budget cuts hit homeBudget cuts hit home
The Huntington Beach City School District cut services, salaries and employees in June to stop a potential $21-million deficit over the next three years. In addition to laying off librarians, bus drivers, night custodians and special education instructional assistants, the district increased class sizes in the lower grades and converted kindergarten to full-day classes.
The Ocean View School District also boosted class sizes and released temporary teachers, while the Huntington Beach Union High School District trimmed summer school and Golden West College raised tuition $6 per unit.
The city, short $10.8 million in state funds, made significant cuts of its own.