Updated 5 p.m.: A group of locals calling themselves the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition announced today they're challenging California State Senate Bill 292, which fast-tracks certain legal challenges to the proposed DTLA football stadium, aka Farmers Field (coincidentally or not, the city is set to begin the approval review process on the stadium in two weeks). PFFFC says developer AEG is getting special treatment with the law, which allows all lawsuits alleging violations of the California Environmental Quality Act be sent straight to appeals court, with a decision rendered within 175 days--part of the bill involves AEG promising to build an environmentally-friendly stadium with enhancements to transit service. "A project of this size will have enormous environmental and other health impacts on surrounding communities, and a robust and constitutionally valid process is crucial to protecting community health," according to a press release from PFFFC. One of the plaintiffs, South LA resident Pedro Ares, says the project will have huge impacts on parking, housing prices, traffic, and air quality, and needs to be closely vetted. A similar lawsuit came down in April challenging AB900, a bill that applied the main points of SB292 to many California projects costing over $100 million.
· Nonprofit Sues to Stop Big Development Fast-Track [Curbed LA]
Statement from AEG: "We cannot comment on specifics, as no complaint has been filed. However, the press release trumpeting the forthcoming lawsuit suggests another effort to undermine the state's legislative will. A similar lawsuit was filed earlier this year seeking to strike down AB 900, the companion measure to SB 292. Prior to their adoption last year, both SB 292 and AB 900 were drafted and vetted by Legislative Counsel and the State Legislature. The Attorney General is vigorously defending the case against AB 900 and we expect the same to be done in the face of any challenges to SB 292. We are highly confident in the legality of these legislative measures and fully expect they will survive any legal attacks.
These measures are common sense legislation intended to put people back to work during these difficult times and fully protect and expand the public's participation in the environmental process. Suspect attacks on the legality of these laws demonstrate the very need for the protections they afford against those seeking to abuse the legal system to thwart or delay projects creating beneficial economic development."