"A divided Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to halt its review of the 5,553-home Las Lomas project, dealing what could well be a fatal blow to the mega-development planned for north Los Angeles County."
"The 10-5 vote, which instructed the Planning Department to stop processing the application, represented a huge victory for Smith, who had argued that the council had no need to review a project that would flood the region with traffic and yet is outside city limits."
"The decision also reflected the heightened anxiety over growth and traffic felt by some of the city's elected officials, who almost never issue an outright rejection of a development proposal."
"For weeks, Las Lomas Land Co. had been waging an uphill battle to keep the project viable, arguing that Los Angeles should process an environmental impact report and then annex the firm's land from unincorporated Los Angeles County. The company said it had spent $20 million since 2002 trying to get its project approved."