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San Clemente and a homeowners association seek to bar toll road

A homeowners association and the city of San Clemente have initiated two lawsuits against the Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) in an attempt to halt the creation of a toll road that would cut through the center of the town. In response to the litigation, at a board meeting held on Aug. 10, the TCA voted to defend against the litigation -- stating that it has the right to move forward with the project.

The TCA has been trying to expand the 241 Toll Road to connect with Interstate 5 close to Trestles Beach. However, a coalition of environmentalists filed a lawsuit in opposition to the expansion which has thus far prevented the 241 extension from being built. On Nov. 10, however, the TCA settled the lawsuits of the environmentalists by agreeing not to build or finance a toll road inside a specially identified protective zone to the south of San Clemente.

The two more recent lawsuits filed by the homeowners association and the city of San Clemente claim that the agreements with the coalition of environmentalists were made in secret, and no public input was allowed. According to San Clemente and the homeowners' association, the settlement "virtually guarantees" future efforts by the TCA to "seek to cram the toll road" into protected open space inside established neighborhoods in Rancho Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente.

Construction litigation actions are often necessary for communities to protect the peace and beauty of their neighborhoods from aggressive developers. If your community is being threatened by a major development project that could negatively affect home values and the happiness of its residents, you may want to consider your and your community's legal rights and options available to try and stop the projects.

Source: The Orange County Register, "San Clemente, Orange County toll agency solidify legal positions in toll road dispute," Fred Swegles, Aug. 11, 2017

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