“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.