A Superior Court judge struck down a years-in-the-making plan to remake Balboa Park’s western entrance Monday. Judge Timothy Taylor upheld his earlier tentative ruling that the city broke its own law in approving the project.
After hearing 90 minutes of arguments from the city, a group of philanthropists who proposed the plan and an opposing historic preservation group on Friday, Taylor opined that the city had abused its discretion to approve the project, because the land in question already has a “reasonable beneficial use” — even if it is a parking lot — without the Plaza de Panama project. In approving the project last July, the City Council had to make a finding to the opposite.
Taylor responded to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s “animated” efforts on Friday to persuade the court to be less rigid in its interpretation of city code: