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Veronique de Turenne

Developers file federal law suit to stop Measure R in Malibu

Well that didn't take long.

Just two months after Measure R won 59 percent of the vote in Malibu, lawyers for the Malibu Bay Company and Steve Soboroff's The Park at Cross Creek LLC have filed a 17-page complaint in U.S. District Court to block the fledgling law.

Measure R, which gives Malibu voters veto rights over commercial developments larger than 20,000 square feet, made national news last fall as director Rob Reiner and Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, became the public faces of the fight over curbing development in the city. The law also includes a limit on the number of chain stores allowed.

David Waite, the lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of the property owners, called the law "misguided", and told the LA Times that "Measure R fails the most basic requirement of lawful legislation. It is arbitrary, discriminatory and lacks a reasonable and rational relationship to a proper legislative purpose."

So far, the city seems pretty sanguine about the suit. From the Malibu Times:

News of the suit, which was filed on behalf of The Park at Cross Creek LLC (owned by Steve Soboroff) and Malibu Bay Company, comes less than a week into the new year and barely a month after the new law hit the books. It seeks to permanently bar the new law from ever being enforced by the City of Malibu.

City Attorney Christi Hogin called the suit "premature" but indicated that her legal team is up for the challenge of defending Measure R.

"I'm confident that the city will implement it in a way that's consistent with the Constitutions of the United States and California, and I think it's pretty quick on the trigger for property owners to run to the court and complain about it," Hogin said.

Hogin scoffed when asked if an outside counsel could be needed to face the suit.

"Anyone who thinks I would shrink from a fight doesn't know me very well," Hogin said, adding, "I didn't read anything in the lawsuit that surprised me or deeply troubled me."

Here's some post-election coverage of the law from the Malibu Times, and a story about similar laws in other California cities.

You know who else isn't all that worried about the lawsuit?

These guys:

pelicans at sunrise

You didn't think I could write a post without a photo, did you?

Next entry: Yep, PCH is still closed near the Ventura County line

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