The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the City of Anaheim continue to battle on the legal front, this time over the city’s proposed plans for development in the Angel Stadium parking lot.
The dispute is over what type of development should be occurring on a 53-acre site at the edge of the parking area at Angel Stadium. That property had been set aside as a possible location for an NFL stadium, but has since been dropped as a possible option. Now, the city wishes to do mixed development including 1,100 apartments, as well as possibly offices, hotels and an entertainment area and has granted development rights to Archstone-Smith and Hines, a nationally known development company. The city owns the land, but the Angels lease agreement forbids having housing on the site. That has set up yet another battle with the Angels after a lengthy and protracted legal conflict over owner Arte Moreno’s choice to rename the team from the Anaheim Angels to the tongue-twisting, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. That battle is still unresolved.
As reported by the LA Times:
"The city wanted to open up the dialogue and get Mr. Moreno's blessing to put residential on the land," said Councilman Harry Sidhu. "But since he did not want to open up the door, we are proceeding further without any negotiation."
The article then goes on further to note:
In a July 23 meeting with Moreno, city officials presented Archstone's vision for the site. Moreno expressed concern that the project would infringe upon the Angels' lease rights regarding parking, ease of access to the stadium and views of the park from neighboring streets and freeways. Moreno also objected to the presence of City Atty. Jack White at the meeting.
The article mentions that a letter from Moreno’s lawyer Leo Beus to the city, Beus wrote that the city had agreed not to pursue the residential development on the site "without the prior written consent of the Los Angeles Angels."
Beus also said the Angels took the city at its word that it would not infringe upon any of the team's lease rights and would not contend that the Angels had forfeited legal rights by not trying to stop the development now.
"Based upon your assurances, the Angels will not file an action at this time," Beus wrote. Moreno was out of the country Thursday and unavailable for comment.
Maury Brown is the founder and president of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football and The Biz of Basketball (The Biz of Hockey will be launching shortly). He is also a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.
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