The Community Youth Athletic Center in southern California is standing between some San Diego-area developers and a new condominium project. The gym was subject to eminent domain–meaning that the local government could declare the building “blighted” and assume ownership of it–after the local government of National City shot down an initial challenge to the entitlement.
The process for challenging eminent domain in California is full of short deadlines and finicky procedures. One of these is that when you challenge the authorization of eminent domain, you have to publish a notice in the newspaper about the lawsuit. That newspaper notice must give a date by which other people can join the suit and oppose the city’s plans.[..]
The notice said Friday when it should have said Monday. No one attempted to join the suit on either Friday or Monday, so the error affected absolutely no one. Nevertheless, based on that technicality, the trial court dismissed the CYAC’s entire case.
The mayor of National City (how awesome would that be, running around screaming I’M THE MAYOR OF NATIONAL CITY!) says they would never, ever take over the property. Actually, no. He said that the city hasn’t yet.
“We have never tried to take over the property the CYAC is at and we have a written statement from them saying we have never done that,” [National City Mayor Ron Morrison] said. “We’re just entitled within that redevelopment zone to do it by law. We have an entitlement. That doesn’t mean we’re doing it and we haven’t.”
If this sounds hokey enough to be a Rick Reilly piece, that’s because it was. But this court fight has been more of a marathon than a sprint, and supposedly the CYAC’s appeal will be decided today. That could be dubious; the only judges worse than those in boxing are the ones in the courts. And in wet t-shirt competitions. The brunettes can never seem to get a fair shake.