The San Diego Tribune Editorial
18 Nov

The San Diego Tribune Editorial

The lawsuit that wouldn’t die finally does

All’s well that ends well. And the 20 years of litigation against San Diego City Hall over a business park proposed for Otay Mesa has ended very well. Congratulations all around, most specifically to the key players in the final settlement — City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, developer Roque de la Fuente II and his legal team, and retired federal Magistrate Judge Leo S. Papas. Give an assist to Councilman David Alvarez, who helped get settlement negotiations going again in July.

The settlement, ratified by the City Council on Tuesday, at one point threatened to cost San Diego taxpayers $136 million. In the end, taxpayers will pay nothing directly, though the case has cost the city’s former insurance carriers a bundle — $25 million to be paid to de la Fuente’s Border Business Park under the settlement, $8.2 million to the city, and some $16 million over the years in outside attorney fees for the city.

De la Fuente can now move forward with development of the 312-acre industrial park, which the council initially approved in 1986 before the project stalled and the litigation began in 1995. It promises jobs and a significant economic shot in the arm for Otay Mesa — 29 years late, but better late than never.


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