City settles with Catholic school for $500K

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San Diego city moneySAN DIEGO — The San Diego City Council Tuesday voted 6-2 to pay $500,000 to the Academy of Our Lady of Peace to settle a lawsuit over the Catholic girls’ school’s rejected expansion plans.

The council twice rejected proposals by the Academy to add classrooms and new science facilities at its overcrowded campus in University Heights, proposals that drew strong neighborhood opposition. The school sued the city in 2009, and a federal jury ruled in the academy’s favor last October.

Council President Todd Gloria, who represents the area, said the environmental impact report for the project, as provided to the council, was inadequate.

“The project as proposed was in conflict with the neighborhood community plan and was not supported by the community planning group,” Gloria said. “I wish the trial had turned out differently, but as any attorney will tell you, there is nothing more uncertain than litigation.”

He said the city was obligated to shell out the money, but he cast a dissenting vote to stay consistent with his prior position on the issue. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner cast the other no vote.