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DP logoTristan Krogius, Dana Point

Having resided in what is now the city of Dana Point for almost a half century, I vividly recall when the Headlands was a fenced, rundown, dilapidated, vacant property with no parks or public access.  I was among those who welcomed Sanford Edward’s arrival two decades ago with his mission to establish a magnificent and environmentally sensitive development on the Headlands, which would include beautiful public parks and open space. This he has done through remarkable creativity and incredible perseverance, and I marvel at his accomplishment knowing how prone developers are to being pilloried by the populace and by politicians. The Headlands development would, nevertheless, not have been possible without the support of the city. Therefore, I find it ironic that now the city is apparently unwilling to sit down and negotiate or mediate a fair settlement in a dispute over legal fees and instead have responded by filing suit against Edward, which will only incur further legal costs.

The city does not have a good track record in litigation, and this does not look like a very promising venture for Dana Point—likely one that will only enrich the lawyers, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost to the taxpayers. The Headlands,LLC has already paid the city over $1.5 million for legal actions challenging their permits and have presented evidence they have been over-billed and are due a refund. Outside counsel has been retained by the city, reportedly at $800 per hour. It is hoped that rational minds will prevail and the city will agree to mediate rather than litigate.

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