National City appeals ruling against blighted property study
Youth boxing gym at heart of ruling
Last Updated: 72 days ago
NATIONAL CITY, Calif. - A local boxing gym for kids is hoping one more victory will protect its building and other properties across California.
The California Fourth District Court of Appeal heard arguments Thursday from the National City officials and the Community Youth Athletic Center.
National City appealed a 2011 ruling that said the city did not do a thorough analysis of properties before labeling them as blighted. A blighted property meant National City could have seized it using eminent domain and redeveloped it.
The CYAC sued and won.
"The trial court said that National City did everything wrong," said Dana Berliner of the Institute of Justice out of Virginia, which is representing the CYAC.
A decision on the appeal is expected within the next three months, and Berliner told 10News if the judge rejects the appeal, cities across the state would have to do a thorough analysis of buildings like the CYAC before labeling it as blighted.
"Because if they don't, they can't take the property," Berliner said.
"All of these claims that they're making are totally ridiculous," said National City Mayor Ron Morrison, who has grown tired of the story.
Morrison said the city never intended to close the gym or force the boxers out. He added that won't change in the future because the state has taken away redevelopment money.
"The whole thing is all these issues are all moot. Redevelopment has gone away," he said.
CYAC attorneys disagree, and Berliner said a victory would stretch beyond National City.
"This decision was something that protects owners throughout the state," she said.
Morrison said he feared the CYAC attorneys, who represented the gym for free, will next ask a judge to force the city to pay the Institute for Justice's $1.9 million bill.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.