Santa Monica Park Advocates Undaunted By Judge's SMO Lawsuit Dismissal

Sunday, 16 Feb 2014, 8:55:00 AM

Brenton Garen

Frank Gruber.
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Frank Gruber.

A coalition of residents and groups known as Airport2Park.org -- who

formed to turn Santa Monica Airport (SMO) into a park -- has released a

statement following U.S. District Judge John L. Walter's decision

Thursday to dismiss the City of Santa Monica’s lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration to confirm the City’s right to close the Santa Monica Airport July 1, 2015.

The statement reads:

We at Airport2Park.org, like nearly everyone else in Santa Monica

and neighboring cities, regret that Federal Judge John Walter has

granted the FAA’s motion to dismiss Santa Monica’s lawsuit for

clarification of its rights to the Santa Monica Airport land, but we

have full confidence that ultimately the City will succeed in closing

the airport. The decision only delays that determination.

In response to the ruling, Airport2Park spokesman Frank Gruber said

this ruling was not going to stop Santa Monica from getting its park at

SMO.

“The decision was on narrow procedural grounds, and doesn’t alter the

fact that the people of Santa Monica bought this land through a park

bond a century ago," Gruber said. "We are confident that when the dust

has settled, it will be the wonderful green space residents are hoping

for.”

Gruber said it is important to note that Judge Walter’s decision was

based solely on narrow procedural grounds and that Walters stated

numerous times that the decision did not have anything to do with

whether the City’s claims themselves were valid.

"Sooner or later, in one court or another, Airport2Park fully expects

that the City of Santa Monica will have its rights to control the

destiny of the airport land confirmed, either on the basis of claims

made in this lawsuit or on other grounds," Gruber said. "Unfortunately,

the FAA was able to use delaying tactics to postpone this decision"

Airport2Park.org is a coalition of residents that includes Community Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic (www.casmat.org), Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution (www.jetairpollution.com), and Sunset Park Anti-Airport, Inc. (www.spaaresidents.org).

For more information, visit www.airport2park.org.

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