|The Lookout Letter to the editor|
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Clarifying the Ruling on the Future of Santa Monica Airport
February 19, 2014
The Lookout's article on how the anti-airport and pro-big-park-at-the-airport groups are not dismayed by Judge Walter’s ruling covers the issue well, except for this statement: "While Walter didn't uphold the FAA's claim, he did rule in favor of the federal agency's argument that the City had waited too long -- more than 12 years -- to challenge those claims.” (“Fight to Close Santa Monica Airport ‘Far from Over,’ Local Activists Say,” February 18)
What the judge ruled was that the City waited too long to get a determination of its rights specifically under the Quiet Title Act, before the City makes an actual claim on the land, such as by the City Council’s voting to close the airport.
Judge Walter made it quite clear that he was not ruling on the merits of the City’s claim to control the land after expiration of the 1984 Settlement Agreement. The City has not lost its right to challenge the federal government’s claims to control the use of the airport land.
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