Today, the Superior Court issued a final ruling in favor of the City of Huntington Beach in a high profile lawsuit – the City of Huntington Beach v. State of California, Department of Finance (DOF) (Case: 34-2018-80002876). The City Attorney’s Office sought reimbursement of a previous redevelopment loan, known as the “Waterfront Loan” in the amount of $22.4 million, plus interest, equating to approximately $25 million. This award for $25 million will be returned by the State to the Huntington Beach taxpayers and is in addition to the $5.2 million that the City won last year in the same case.
This $25 million is owed by the State to the City of Huntington Beach from the Waterfront Loan Redevelopment Project. This obligation to reimburse the City stems from a 1988 Agreement between the Former Redevelopment Agency and the City of Huntington Beach for the sale of real property within the “Main-Pier Project Area.”
“This is a great win for Huntington Beach and I am very proud of the leadership and legal acumen that Mr. Gates and his team has demonstrated,” said Mayor Tony Strickland. “I appreciate Mr. Gates’s willingness to fight the fights that other cities don’t. He is a real asset to Huntington Beach and the taxpayers should be proud.”
In the decision, the Court wrote, “the Agreement contains an obligation to pay, and DOF should have treated it as an enforceable obligation when the Successor Agency submitted its Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) 17-18… the Petition after remand is granted, and a writ of mandate shall issue directing DOF to treat the Waterfront Loan on the Successor Agency’s ROPS 17-18 as an enforceable obligation.”
In response to the Court’s decision, City Attorney, Michael Gates, said “this is another great win for the Huntington Beach taxpayer, and another loss for the State. Great results are had when cities stand up and fight for their communities and their taxpayers. I am obviously very pleased with the Court’s decision and am grateful to our City Council for their full support of the City Attorney’s Office and the legal work we do.”