The City Council ended its pursuit of developing a park and road in Fox Canyon on today, deciding instead to settle a legal challenge brought against the controversial project.

A community group called Friends of Fox Canyon sued over the council’s decision in March to approve an environmental review for the City Heights park-and-road proposal.

The review said that the extension of Ontario Avenue and construction of a small, adjacent park would have a minimal impact on the surrounding environment, which includes Auburn Creek. The study allowed the park-and-road proposal to move forward in the planning process.

The council voted Tuesday to withdraw its approval of the study after tentatively agreeing to those terms in a private meeting this October.

Councilman Jim Madaffer, whose district includes Fox Canyon, said he reluctantly supported settling the lawsuit, even though the agreement ended up killing the project he has very visibly championed. He blamed “community politics, the struggle for power and greed” for the proposal’s demise.

Only Council President Scott Peters opposed the settlement.

The council will discuss redirecting the state grant the city received for Fox Canyon for another area of the City Heights neighborhood, on Wightman Street, next week.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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