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Environmental activists’ legal challenge to condo conversions was tentatively dismissed by a Superior Court judge today.

Judge Ronald Prager provisionally granted a motion by developers to throw out the case because the activists failed to request a trial by a set deadline.

Attorneys for the developers and the activists will debate the motion in court Friday morning.

Two groups, Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development and the Affordable Housing Coalition of San Diego County, are trying to block the conversion of apartments into for-sale condos until the city agrees to study the cumulative impacts those projects have citywide. The activists argue that energy consumption, air quality, parking and traffic are all affected by condo conversions – especially considering that 30,000 rental units have been converted since 2004 or are in the process of being converted.

On Monday, the City Council denied the groups’ request for a study on the impacts, despite an opinion by City Attorney Mike Aguirre that supports the activists’ claims that the California Environmental Quality Act mandates a study.

The activists say a cumulative study will prove that individual condo conversion projects need to be reviewed more thoroughly. A City Council majority and the Mayor’s Office argue that the city has dealt with the impacts of those projects through legislation.


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