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La Brea Gateway Project Brings on the Lawsuits

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The fight over the corner of La Brea and Willoughby continues with the news that the La Brea Willoughby Coalition, the group that was fighting the recently approved La Brea Gateway development, has filed a lawsuit to stop the 7-story, 219-unit complex. This, of course, is the same development that has seen the big and possibly illegal sign, the puppet tap dance at City Hall, the grocery bag scandal and the political bickering. So much drama; where’s the musical?

The suit, filed on July 2nd and first noted by CityWatch, names the city of Los Angeles and developer Martin Group, among others, and basically states that developer wasn’t honest with the city about the environmental impacts of the project. Environmental impacts can range from aesthetics to the infrastructure of the project (it looks like the La Brea Willoughby is even playing the drought card, tying water use to development). According to Sabrina Venskus, attorney for the La Brea-Willoughby Coalition, one of the main sticking points is height. A similar, but smaller development was proposed by neighbors, but "alternatives weren't considered" by the city or the developer, Venskus tells us. And the suit notes the zone change from industrial to residential, while the CityWatch article also references a complaint filed by the group over the Brown Act, but details on that filing were not yet available. Reps at Martin Group didn't return calls today. Additionally, according to Lucille Saunders, who has led the fight to stop the project, another group--the Melrose Neighborhood Association--has filed another lawsuit to stop the project.
· Isn’t Anyone Listening? Citizen Lawsuits Just Keep on Coming [CityWatch]