Calexico council to discuss Estrada's threatened suit

March 04, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — At a special meeting tonight, the City Council will again discuss Raul Estrada's threatened lawsuit.

There is a closed-session item on the agenda that will allow City Attorney Michael Rood to discuss the matter in confidence.

Rood spoke to the council Thursday, outlining the city's options if Estrada, owner of land near the Calexico 10 theaters, sues the city.

The council meets at 6:30 tonight in City Hall.

For the past few months the council has talked about constructing extensions to two roads, Fiesta and Robinson, that would be used primarily by patrons of a proposed restaurant and hotel.


Estrada owns four plots of land north of the theater complex off Scaroni Road that would be intersected by those roads.

His attorney has said Estrada wants to sell those plots to developers to build the restaurant and at least one hotel, maybe two. Before that sale goes through, the developers are asking for the city to construct extensions to two roads.

The city agreed months ago to bankroll the construction but said the improvements would be contingent on development of the restaurant and hotel.

Estrada's attorney said the developers balked at that deal.

However, the developers still want the roads constructed.

Since Estrada wants to sell the land, he has asked the city to build the roads and broker an agreement with him.

His attorney said Estrada would guarantee development of the land if the city pays $450,000 to build the roads.

The threat of a lawsuit hangs over the council's decision because if the city doesn't decide to construct the roads, Estrada could sue and try to force the city's hand.

Estrada's lawsuit would bring up a land transfer agreement years ago that hasn't yet been completed.

In public session during a recent council meeting, Estrada's attorney, John McClendon of Orange, told the council that when Estrada said he would give a sliver of land to the city in 1996 the city paved that land behind the Calexico 10 theaters before it had been officially transferred.

McClendon said Estrada could sue the city on grounds of inverse condemnation.

"I think that could be a lawsuit," Rood said.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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