Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The 'war ain't over' on court's church ruling

From Los Angeles-

An Orange County Superior Court judge said Friday that a prior deed restriction on the St. James the Great Episcopal Church property in Newport Beach doesn't bar the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles from selling the property for another use because the restriction was not renewed.

In the meantime, a developer that planned to buy the church site says it can't proceed with the purchase because its investment partner has dropped out.

Ownership rights to the church property at 3209 Via Lido were transferred from the Griffith Co. to the diocese in 1945 with the restriction that the site remain a church. The Griffith Co. developed much of Lido Isle, beginning in the 1920s.

Lawyers for the diocese argued in court documents that the use restriction expired when the Griffith Co. failed to file a notice of renewal within a time frame outlined in state law.

The diocese said the church in 1984 negotiated removal of the use restriction from the deed, granting the diocese the right to sell the property for other purposes. Court documents indicate the restriction was lifted from several lots on the property. But one — a courtyard that sits amid the church buildings — was not listed in the 1984 agreement.

More here-

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