When Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to expedite environmental lawsuits brought against Downtown's proposed Farmers Field NFL stadium this week, he also signed AB900, a complementary bill that fast-tracks environmental lawsuits brought against certain projects costing more than $100 million (many lawsuits meant to stop or slow big projects are brought on environmental grounds, attacking the mandatory environmental impact reports). Reporting on the Tuesday signing ceremony, Daily News writer (and Curbed alum) Dakota Smith notes that AB900 could affect publicly-funded projects, in addition to private ones. Most notably, the subway to the Westside (the Purple Line extension) could potentially escape years of delay. Metro is considering building a subway station in central Century City, which would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High, something the school board is adamantly against and will likely sue to stop. If they did, the case would go right to the court of appeals and be heard within 175 days under this new legislation.
At the signing ceremony, State Senator Alex Padilla, who drafted the AEG legislation, told Smith that, "The subway is a natural [for AB900] from a job-creation standpoint, from an investment standpoint, from an emission reduction and air quality standpoint."
Streetsblog contacted the BHUSD's paid publicist, who unsurprisingly is not happy about the news. "Taxpayers are being asked to spend billions of dollars on a subway designed to serve Southern California for the next century, and a public project of this magnitude deserves careful, deliberate review in a transparent process," Aaron Curtiss of Sitrick & Co. told Streetsblog's Damien Newton. "The Westside Subway Extension is too important a project to shortchange future generations."
It sounds like the Crenshaw Line, which is also possibly facing a lawsuit, could fall under AB900's umbrella as well.
· Brown Signs AEG Bill on Fast-Tracking Suits [Daily News]
· AEG Bill Could Help Subway Avoid Delays [Streetsblog]