SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the DP Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.
By Kristina Pritchett
The city of Dana Point filed a lawsuit this week against Headlands Reserve, LLC and its managing member, Sanford Edward, for not upholding an indemnity agreement.
The claim was filed in Orange County Superior Court on Aug. 29 and states the Headlands Reserve, along with the city, signed contracts that included “Indemnification and Hold Harmless” clauses that would protect the city and the taxpayers from any legal actions resulting from the development project.
According to the city, the Reserve reimbursed the city for the legal fees it incurred in contesting the trails access claims for six-and-a-half years, but has stopped.
“Now that we are on the verge of implementing a settlement with the Coastal Commission that will provide the legal coastal access that is required under state law, while protecting both residents and visitors during the late night hours, the developer has stopped underwriting the legal fees for a project that directly affects and benefits his development, as well as the public,” said Dana Point Mayor John Tomlinson in a press release. “The legal fees in this effort should not be borne by the taxpayers.”
Edward said he does not believe the lawsuit will end in the city’s favor.
“The city’s lawsuit is meritless,” Edward said. “The city of Dana Point overbilled us $670,000 in legal fees over the past 12 years. They clearly breached our development agreement. We filed a formal claim with the city in February, they responded by suing us in August.”
Edward said he proposed mediation to the city and told city officials he did not want it to go to litigation, which he said would be a waste of taxpayer money.
“All this city knows how to do is litigate and lose,” Edward said.
This is a developing story and updates will be posted.