The City of Twentynine Palms has won a round in its legal struggle with the California Department of Finance, over the proceeds of bonds that the City issued to finance the Project Phoenix development effort. Project Phoenix would build a community center, theater, gym, and 40 housing units in downtown Twentynine Palms. Reporter Dan Stork passes along the official elation, and reads from the court’s decision…
Late Wednesday afternoon, Twentynine Palms Mayor Dan Mintz issued a press release via email that said this:
“I am pleased to announce that the City learned today that the Court issued the writ of mandate requested by the City in its case against the State Department of Finance relating to bonds issued for Project Phoenix, the Downtown Revitalization Program. It appears this means that the City has prevailed.”
This is the first public word since a court hearing in Sacramento in January, at which the City challenged the decision by the State Department of Finance (DOF) that disallowed the use of bond funds in the downtown revitalization effort known as Project Phoenix, following the dissolution of the City’s Redevelopment Agency by the state.
In his decision, a copy of which Z107.7 received last night, Judge Michael Kenny concluded “…the Court finds in favor of petitioners [i.e., the City of Twentynine Palms] and grants their requests for declaratory, injunctive and writ of mandate relief to invalidate DOF’s determinations regarding the Bond Proceeds Agreement and the bond proceeds.” This means, as the decision went on to say, “The Court finds that the Bond Proceeds Agreement is an ‘enforceable obligation’ … and that nothing in the redevelopment laws precludes petitioners from using the bond proceeds for Project Phoenix and related public improvements…”
It is unknown at this time whether the Department of Finance will appeal this ruling.