Developers of the contentious Millennium Hollywood project, which could bring the neighborhood a pair of towers at least 30-stories tall, want to speed up eventual construction by taking advantage of a state bill that would stunt lawsuits against the project, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The bill, SB 699, would mandate that lawsuits brought against projects using the California Environmental Quality Act would have to finish in nine months or less, “potentially saving years of costly litigation.”
The act, more commonly known as CEQA, tasks developers with analyzing and reducing the ways a new development impacts the surrounding area’s traffic, air quality, and other environmental factors.
If passed, the bill would mean that the speedier timeline could be available to any developers of projects costing $100 million or more, provided that they offer “union-level” wages to construction workers and meet high standards for emissions and renewable energy.
The bill could be helpful for the Millennium project. Two years ago, a CEQA lawsuit against the project resulted in a judge halting construction on the mixed-use project after finding that the city had failed to adequately address safety concerns and impacts on traffic on the 101 freeway.
Developers who meet the criteria would apply directly to Governor Jerry Brown. Within the last year, the governor has approved two Hollywood developments—the Crossroads of the World project and a mixed-user at Yucca and Argyle—for streamlined legal reviews.
SB 699 is an extension of a bill originally passed in 2011. Last year, the legislation was extended to 2019, and this year’s bill would extend the measure to 2021. It would have to be passed by both houses in the state legislature before September 15.
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