Decision on Sunset Beach Annexation Stalled (Again)

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Sunset Beach remains Sunset Beach--at least a little while longer, as more legal wrangling has stalled the annexation decision once again.

The eclectic, 85-acre coastal community of about 1,300 was to be swallowed by Huntington Beach, as approved by the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

But in December, the Sunset Beach Community Association, staunch on keeping the neighborhood self-contained, filed a lawsuit alleging the boundary change is illegal. They argue that under law, a community has a right to vote on annexation if new taxes are imposed, and Surf City plans to charge Sunset Beach residents a utility users' tax.

Huntington Beach attorneys filed a demurrer challenging the lawsuit, and a Superior Court judge was to review the case today. However, the association amended its complaint, and now Huntington Beach must file an amended demurrer. (For those not versed in legalese, a demurrer is like an objection that, while admitting there may be some truth to an allegation, asserts that it is not enough reason for action.) They have until about March 22 to do so.

"We think it's great," says Diana Dodson, vice president of the association. "The more issues that [Huntington Beach] brings up, the more opportunity our attorney has to bring up the issues of our case."

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