The Press

Judge rules for Huntington Park in charter schools suit

HUNTINGTON PARK — Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos has ruled in favor of the city in a suit brought by the California Charter Schools Association, according to City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman.

He made the announcement after a closed session with the City Council May 2, but provided no other details of the ruling, City Clerk Donna Schwartz said.

“The city is pleased with the outcome of the court’s ruling which upheld the city’s right to take overall community concerns into account with its land use policies,” City Manager Edgar Cisneros said.

Representatives of the Charter School Association could not be reached immediately for comment at press time.

The association filed suit Nov. 3 after the City Council Oct. 18 approved a moratorium on new charter schools in the city, saying it needed to review zoning laws to find the best location for such schools to both protect students and avoid inconveniences such as traffic congestion and parking overflow to residents.

Councilwoman Karina Macias also said the city must reserve commercial space for revenue-producing businesses.

Charter school officials, citing success with students in the area and long waiting lists, said the city was in violation of state law on charter schools.

Alvarez-Glasman said it was a land use issue.

The moratorium, unless canceled by the city, is in effect until next fall and could be extended another year under state law.

A charter school, operated by private, nonprofit groups, is a public school using public school funding from the state and operating with permission of the school district in their area, in this case Los Angeles Unified.