The Fourth District Court of Appeal has rejected the fourth lawsuit the city of Irvine has filed since 1996 to prevent the expansion of the James A. Musick Branch Jail, the County of Orange announced. Irvine most recently argued that the county failed to properly analyze the environmental impacts of the expansion project when the Board of Supervisors in late 2014 approved seeking $80 million in state funding.
In a ruling announced by the county Friday, the court concluded that those environmental reviews were proper and sufficient.
"It is impossible to predict with precision the micro effects of various stages of construction at precise points in time without also knowing precisely when one will have the funding to implement those various stages of construction," Acting Presiding Justice William W. Bedsworth wrote in the opinion. "The best you can do is come reasonably close. That, the county did."
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Read the full appellate court decision here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/G050802.PDF
The county plans to add 896 beds by October 2019 to the existing 1,200 beds at Musick. New visitor and staff parking areas, a new entrance off Alton Parkway and space for enhanced rehabilitation services--including social services, health care and education programs--are also in the works.
The city, which is on the hook for the county's legal expenses defending the suit, has not yet disclosed whether it will appeal the latest ruling to the state Supreme Court, reports the Orange County Register.