The attorney representing the Coalition to Save the Marina, the Marina Tenants Association and three individuals in a lawsuit against the county and assignee of the Kingswood Village parcel in Marina del Rey plans to file a revised amendment to the original lawsuit by Monday, January 24th, meeting a 45-day deadline to amend the original suit.
Defendants in the class action taxpayer lawsuit are Los Angeles County, Archstone Smith Operating Trust and Kingswood Village Apartments-Marina del Rey.
Originally, the plaintiffs claimed in the suit — filed in August — that the county erred in the manner in which it assigned the Kingswood Village parcel.
Now that lawsuit is being amended to add a claim that the County Department of Beaches and Harbors has been illegally renting public land to private companies since 1962, and that the county has never exercised price controls over rents county lessees charge sublessees for noncommercial leases.
The attorney for the plaintiffs is Richard Fine.
Fine alleges that after the assignment, the new assignee illegally served notices for Kingswood Village Apartments residents to vacate their apartments.
County officials respond that under the assignment, Archstone is required to upgrade the apartments and that the lessee needs to vacate the units to refurbish them.
Fine claims that a law dating to 1962 states that leasing public land to private companies is illegal and that the county was leasing approximately 25 percent of public land to private companies at that time and continues to do so today.
The county leased the public land to private companies with the knowledge that there was no county control over the price lessees charged sublessees for noncommercial use, Fine claims.
Fine further alleges that the county then changed a section of the master lease to state that rentals to private companies are for the “public benefit and for profits to the county.”
Fine says that another item added to his revised amendment is a claim that Archstone Smith Operating Trust failed to legally notify tenants of the Kingswood Village Apartments-Marina del Rey to vacate their apartments.
Fine’s original amendment was taken off the calendar in December by a judge hearing Fine’s change of venue request for the trial.
The judge at a Thursday, December 9th, hearing suggested that Fine refile the amendment with the new information included, by Monday, January 24th.
Fine claims that in 1979, a notice to lessees from the county asked for a copy of proposed rentals 60 days prior to those sublessees rentals, but no precedent was ever set by the county, and the county never exercised price controls over apartments, even though tenants complained to the county.