A state appeals court tentatively ruled this week against Neighbors for Smart Rail, a group of Cheviot Hills-area homeowners trying to divert the Expo Line underground. NFSR still has the option to present oral arguments and change the court's mind. The group claims that the project's environmental impact report is flawed and doesn't accurately calculate traffic impacts of the above-ground train (some people say they just want to kill the light rail's Culver City-to-Santa Monica phase completely). In the EIR, the Expo Authority calculated the train's traffic impacts on projected 2030 environmental conditions, and NFSR says they should have looked at present-day (2009) conditions. The community group also says the Expo Authority didn't sufficiently calculate traffic impacts on Sepulveda, nor transit-oriented developments proposed near the stations, especially the Casden project at Sepulveda. A judge found no merits in NFSR's claims and ruled against them in December 2010. In their ruling this week, the appeals court says they disagreed with two other judgments, referenced by NFSR in their case, that said certain EIRs should look at present, not future, conditions. "We find no merit in petitioner's contentions and affirm the judgment," the appellate court wrote in their 49 page ruling, which also finds that NFSR is responsible for Metro's legal fees.
If NFSR wants to still plead their case, oral arguments would be made
May 22 March 23. Word is that some members of NFSR wants to keep fighting the fight, but lawyers could decide it's not worth it. Meanwhile, construction is already progressing on the line.
Expo Line tentative ruling
·Judge Issues Tentative Ruling in Favor of Expo Authority [Curbed LA]
· Expo Line Phase II Archives [Curbed LA]