After a long, bitter battle, sundown has finally come for Sunset Beach.
Huntington Beach Independent reports that the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), a state-mandated bureau that oversees boundary changes, filed paperwork with the county that essentially makes the 85-acre coastal community a part of Huntington Beach. The state sill must approve the paperwork, but that's just an administrative formality.
It's a major blow to a resident group called the Citizen's Association of Sunset Beach, which has been fighting to keep their eclectic town of about 1,300 self-contained. In December, the group filed a lawsuit with LAFCO, arguing that under Prop 218, a community has a right to vote on annexation if new taxes are imposed. (See the Weekly's cover story on the issue here.)
Months of legal wrangling ensued, but last week, Orange County Superior Court Judge Frederick P. Horn ruled against the association, saying that Prop 218 does not apply to annexations.
In a letter, the association said it would appeal Horn's decision. “We are committed to getting this decision reversed on appeal,” it stated. “It is not uncommon for cases which are lost in the lower court to prevail on appeal. . . .We strongly resolve to continue this battle for our community.”