Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Menifee: Court rules in favor of city, Wal-Mart project can proceed

Menifee, Ca – Judge Sharon Waters of the Riverside County Court ruled in favor of the City in the Mizak v. City of Menifee lawsuit. The Wal-Mart project at Haun and Scott roads can now proceed after the favorable ruling in this lawsuit that stalled development of the project during the past two years.

In 2011, City Council opted to let Menifee voters decide the fate of the Menifee Shopping Center, anchored by Wal-Mart, with a special city-wide election. Menifee voters overwhelmingly approved Measure C with 76 percent of the vote supporting the project. Before the special election was held the plaintiff, Michael Mizak, opposed the Planning Commission’s approval of the project with a lawsuit filed on behalf of the non-profit organization CREED-21. The court dismissed the case for failure to state a cause of action.

In this second attempt to stop the project, the court again ruled against the plaintiff, Mizak. The ruling relies on the substantive finding that the Wal-Mart specific plan is consistent with the City’s general plan and the court deferred to the electorate who approved the project. Additionally, the procedural challenges brought forward by Miztak were deemed to be irrelevant. The litigation cost for these lawsuits was minimal for the City because Wal-Mart was the real party in interest, thereby incurring the majority of the cost.

For more information contact Interim City Manager Rob Johnson at rjohnson@cityofmenifee.us or (951) 672-6777.

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