Developer May Pay Legal Fees of Groups Opposing Him

Would-Be Veronica Meadows Builder Lost in Court to Environmental Groups

Developer Mark Lee, repeatedly stymied in his nine-year effort to build 25 homes off Las Positas Road, could have to pay his chief environmental adversaries - Citizens Planning Association and the Urban Creeks Council - $119,000 in legal fees. The two groups prevailed against Lee’s proposed Veronica Meadows development in court last month and as prevailing parties are entitled to reimbursement for their legal fees. Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle ruled the project had to go before a vote of Santa Barbara City voters before it could be built. Anderle based his ruling on portions of the city charter stating a popular vote is required before city parkland can be encumbered for private development. The entrance bridge to Lee’s development across Las Positas Creek would cross over undeveloped parkland owned by City Hall. Lee’s attorney Steve Amerikaner stated his client would appeal Anderle’s decision.

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