Clapp proposes plan for payment of legal fees in neighbor-to-neighbor lawsuits

Editor's note: Story and headline were revised Saturday, July 16 at 11:36 to correct innaccuracies.

Andra Belknap, Ojai Valley News reporter

Ojai City Councilwoman Betsy Clapp has expressed support for the addition of a provision that would provide for the payment of the legal fees for someone bringing a lawsuit to enforce provisions of the city's short-term rental ban.

“I think it's important to have tools in the tool box,” she said Friday.

Such a provision would allow a citizen to enforce the city's zoning code against another citizen, explained City Attorney Matthew Summers during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

If a plaintiff successfully brought a suit against someone illegally operating a short-term rental, the city's provision could pave the way for the prevailling party to have their attorney fees paid.

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