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Homeowners drop lawsuit over trash collection

City News Service

Homeowners who sued the city of San Diego after Mayor Jerry Sanders made them pay for trash pickup in this year’s budget withdrew their court action, the City Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

The city instituted the fees for more than 14,000 households on private roads built before 1986. The residents received free municipal waste collection service before the fiscal year that began July 1.

To institute the fee, Sanders revoked more than 100 hold harmless’’ agreements that limited the liability of garbage haulers that have to access the roads in condominium complexes, mobile home parks and other areas with private streets. The mayor’s office estimated the city would raise $880,000 this year.

The court was considering a motion to dismiss the case when the lawsuit was withdrawn, and previous plaintiff demands for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction were rejected, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

A representative of the Mesa Village Homeowners Association could not immediately be reached for comment on the decision to drop the lawsuit.

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the case had no merit.

Whether to extend trash service to these homeowners was a policy decision for the City Council and mayor, not a legal issue for the courts,’'

Goldsmith said. This lawsuit was off-base on the law and should not have been

filed.’'

About 58 percent of San Diego households have free garbage pickup. The others live in multi-family housing or private roads built after 1986.