From: ENN
Published October 27, 2005 12:00 AM

Ballona Wetland Environmentalists Win Lawsuit against City of Los Angeles, Playa Vista Development

LOS ANGELES — After four years of litigation, a coalition of environmentalist groups today prevailed in an appeal of a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and Playa Capital, the investors behind the Playa Vista development. The group of petitioners included Grassroots Coalition, Environmentalism Through Inspiration and Non-Violent Action, Spirit of the Sage Council as well as concerned local citizens, John Davis and Daniel Cohen.


The California Second Appellate District unanimously reversed a lower court's go-ahead on Phase 1 of Playa Vista's methane mitigation plans and sent the case back to the trial court with directions to grant the petition for writ of mandate and vacate the city's approval of the Phase One methane mitigation measures until the city complies with state law.


Patricial McPherson, President of Grassroots Coalition, focused on the deeper pockets on the periphery of the issue. "This sends a strong message to big, east-coast investors like Morgan-Stanley and Goldman-Sachs (investors in Playa Vista) that David can beat Goliath with enough community support backed up by solid, scientific evidence."


Three reports on Los Angeles NBC affiliate KNBC reported that combustible gas is moving up through the concrete under the buildings. In addition, the report said that mandated venting wells -- to be dug to 50 feet below the ground level into the old Los Angeles River bed -- do not exist.


The first phase of Playa Vista is currently under development. It plans for 3,246 housing units and a small amount of commercial space, with one office complex.


Source: Business Wire, Grassroots Coalition


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