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The Daily News of Los Angeles
The proposed Clippers arena in Inglewood faces another lawsuit, this one claiming a pair of city-related boards violated state laws related to open meetings and California's Environmental Quality Act.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Hermosa Beach-based law firm Chatten-Brown & Carstens, representing Inglewood Residents Against Takings and Evictions.
According to the petition, the Successor Agency to the Inglewood Redevelopment Agency and the Oversight Board to the Successor Agency to the Inglewood Redevelopment Agency violated the Ralph M. Brown Act, the state's open-meetings law, by failing "to inform the public that the parcels being transferred are specifically designated ... in the [exclusive negotiating agreement] for construction of the arena project" before their meetings in June.
"Inglewood is a Brown Act-challenged city," attorney Doug Carstens said Monday. "They have a perpetual problem complying with the Brown Act. The vagueness of the agendas [was a problem.]"
Inglewood Mayor James Butts denied that assertion.
"This is another in a series of frivolous lawsuits, from a nonexistent group of persons to date never seen, whose sole purpose is apparently to attempt to delay or obstruct the process of a potential NBA arena," Butts said Monday.
IRATE also filed a CEQA-related suit last year, and the activist group Uplight Inglewood filed a lawsuit in June that claimed the city failed to notify housing developers about the availability of the land where the new Clippers arena is expected to be built, violating the Surplus Land Act.
In a newsletter posted on the city's website, Butts wrote that the city's agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration bars it from allowing housing at the location.
Madison Square Garden Co., which owns the nearby Forum, also filed suit in March, claiming the ad
dition of another arena would violate its development agreement with Inglewood, which the city denies.
Meanwhile, Assembly Bill 987, introduced in June by state Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, has been making its way through the legislative process in Sacramento, with members of the state Senate set to discuss it this week. If approved, the bill would fast-track the development of the Clippers' arena by allowing a judge to halt the project only under narrow circumstances.
In June 2017, Inglewood officials approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with Clippers owner Steve Ballmer for an 18,000-to-20,000-seat arena on a 23-acre site. The project is currently in an environmental review process that's expected to take 18 months. In addition to the arena, the site is expected to house a training facility, team offices and hotel. The first renderings are anticipated to be released this fall.
The Clippers have a lease to play at Staples Center through 2024.
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