The California Supreme Court has upheld the City of Los Angeles approval of a 114-unit development in Westchester — the Catellus West Bluffs development.
Previously, both the trial and the appellate court had upheld the city approvals.
The Supreme Court limited its review to one aspect of the city approvals — a decision that the Mello Act, which requires low-income housing to be included in projects built within the state coastal zone, did not apply to the West Bluffs project.
The Supreme Court ruled that the city was correct in concluding that the Mello Act did not apply because no homes were being developed within the coastal zone. Only a portion of an access road to the project is included in the coastal zone.
The final remaining legal challenge to West Bluffs relates to California Coastal Commission approval of the project.
Both trial and appellate courts have ruled in favor of Catellus and upheld the issuance of a coastal development permit allowing limited construction within the coastal zone.
The California Supreme Court agreed to review the appellate court decision in July 2002.
Catellus anticipates a decision on the final coastal permit issue by the coastal commission in this case during the first half of this year.
CONSTRUCTION STATUS — None of these legal actions have blocked the Catellus project progress, developers say.
The last key infrastructure elements, utility connections at Lincoln Boulevard and the widening of Lincoln Boulevard, are targeted for completion by the end of this month, developers added.
“Streets, curbs and gutters, sewer and storm drains are complete,” developers say. “The bluff restoration program is moving forward on all fronts.
“Individual pads are ready for home building and model home construction is targeted for early summer.”
Catellus is awaiting city feedback on its $400,000 Neighborhood Traffic Intrusion Program, which is designed to address existing traffic problems on neighboring streets.
SALE OF ASSETS — In November, Catellus completed a major sale of several non-core assets to a San Francisco-based investment entity.
The sale included the Catellus West Bluffs site.
While ownership of the West Bluffs project has been transferred to FarallonCapital Management, the Catellus management team retains responsibility for completing the project and carrying out the planned sale to a homebuilder.