Appellate Court Ruling Affirms Musick Expansion
(Santa Ana, CA) — The Fourth District Court of Appeal has again found in favor of the County’s plans to expand the James A. Musick Branch Jail in Irvine, rejecting the fourth lawsuit filed against the expansion by the City of Irvine since 1996.
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. But the court concluded that the County’s 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.”
The County plans to add 896 beds by October 2019 to the existing 1,200 beds at the Musick jail. Also planned are 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.
The lawsuit was defended by former County Counsel Nicholas Chrisos, Assistant County Counsel Jack Golden and Senior Deputy County Counsel Nicole Walsh. The County will be able to recover its costs of litigation.
A copy of the appellate court decision can be found here.