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GLENDALE, CA-Longtime builder Gregg Development and the city of Glendale have settled their long-running legal dispute through an agreement in which the city and a conservancy organization will pay $25.25 million to obtain title to at least 238 acres of property and resolve three lawsuits with Gregg Development Inc.

Under the agreement, the city of Glendale will pay $13.25 million, with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority paying $12 million.

The settlement ends 10 years of political controversy and legal challengessurrounding the proposed Oakmont View V project, a development that would have consisted of up to 572 housing units.

Gregg’s lawyers, Robert McMurry and Scott Yamaguchi of Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott, say the situation began in December 1992 when John Gregg, president of Gregg Development Inc., proposed building Oakmont View V.

The lawyers say the proposed density of the development was permitted by the zoning at the time, but soon after Gregg filed his application the city enacted an ordinance limiting development in its hillside areas. Gregg filed his first suit against the city in 1993 to challenge the ordinance, and in 1996 the city agreed not to apply it to his project and to make an effort to complete the processing of an environmental impact report on the project by June 1997.

The city and Gregg continued to battle through the EIR process, with Glendale billing Gregg $300,000 to prepare a draft EIR that the city later rejected and then asking Gregg for $900,000 to produce a new EIR. Gregg filed his second suit, alleging that the city was required to complete an EIR within a year of deeming the project complete. Gregg also sued to recover the EIR fees, which he considered excessive.

The city completed and certified the EIR early this year, but then the council unanimously rejected Gregg’s project application. Gregg then filed his third suit, claiming inverse condemnation and violations of constitutional rights. That suit was likely to go to trial later this year, but the recent agreement settles it.

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