Park advocates undaunted by judge’s ruling

Perseverance“This isn’t going to stop Santa Monica getting its park,” A2P spokesman Frank Gruber said in response to the ruling. “The decision was on narrow procedural grounds, and doesn’t alter the fact that the people of Santa Monica bought this land through a park bond a century ago. We are quietly confident that when the dust has settled, it will be the wonderful green space residents are hoping for.”

 

Naturally, we at Airport2Park.org, like nearly everyone else in Santa Monica and neighboring cities, regret that Federal Judge John Walter has granted the FAA’s motion to dismiss the City of Santa Monica’s lawsuit, but we have full confidence that ultimately the City will succeed in closing the Santa Monica Airport. This lawsuit for declaratory relief would have clarified the City’s rights over the land at the Santa Monica Airport, land that the City has owned for almost a century. The FAA’s motion and the court’s decision only delay the determination of the City’s rights over its property.

 

Disappointed as we are in this delay, it is important to note that Judge Walter’s decision was based solely on narrow procedural grounds relating to a specific statute, the Quiet Title Act, and technicalities about the proper court for certain claims and the proper timing for others. In his decision, Judge Walters emphasized numerous times that the decision did not have anything to do with whether the City’s claims themselves were valid.

 

Sooner or later, in one court or another, Airport2Park fully expects that the City of Santa Monica will have its rights to control the destiny of the airport land confirmed, either on the basis of claims made in this lawsuit or on other grounds. Unfortunately, the FAA was able to use delaying tactics to postpone this decision.

 

Airport2Park wants to thank the Santa Monica City Council, Santa Monica City Attorney Marsha Moutrie and her colleagues, and the City’s outside counsel at Morison & Foerster, for their hard work and fine efforts to gain control of the airport land and return it to uses that benefit everyone rather than a few. We have full confidence that ultimately they will succeed.




2 thoughts on “Park advocates undaunted by judge’s ruling

  1. You are so totally wrong, it is laughable. This is an airport in perpetuity, get used to it! There will be no park, and you are all dreaming a stupid dream, and wasting taxpayers money to speculate about something that will never happen. The presidents security detail is using the airport when he is in town. That should tell you something. This is a vital airport and your park fantasy on the toxic ground underneath the airport is rediculous. The financial impact of this airport is huge, and the city is cooking the books to hide this fact. The Federal Government will emminent domain you right out of any chance on this. Listen to your lawyers. You have no chance of success!

  2. Thanks Scott. Couldn’t agree more.I love parks as well as airfields. But there are many places to put parks, and enormous restrictions on where you can put an airport. It’s pretty clear the “wonderful green park” crowd care a lot less about having another park than they do about closing an airfield. But as you say, they haven’t a hope. The “narrow procedural grounds” referred to in this post are that the city signed an agreement to run the airport in perpetuity 35 years ago, and changing their minds now isn’t a basis for nullifying that agreement. And of course they didn’t lose a court case; they were disallowed from having one on these grounds. Ever — as in “with prejudice”.

    I live on the East Coast now, but Santa Monica was the first place I ever flew (on a $25 coupon that was put through my door). If Santa Monica airport proponents ever need any money to fight this fight, my checkbook is at the ready.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>