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Environmental Activists Drop LA Stadium Lawsuit

The agreement between the downtown stadium developers and the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition calls for a $15 million trust fund to build affordable housing near the project.

A coalition of housing and environmental justice activists agreed to drop an active lawsuit and pending litigation against the state and city of Los Angeles over the proposed $1.2 billion Farmers Field NFL football stadium downtown, it was announced Thursday.

The Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition and Anschutz Entertainment Group came to an agreement over the group's concerns that the developer and the city had not addressed potential negative effects of the project on the low- income neighborhoods of Pico Union, downtown and neighborhoods in South L.A.

The coalition agreed to dismiss its litigation in exchange for AEG's commitment to establish a $15 million trust fund to build affordable housing units within a three-mile radius of the stadium for extremely low-income residents and "living wage" workers at the new project.

The developer separately committed to spend about $2.5 million to enhance or add parks and open space, as well as for air quality improvements and benefits to bus riders. The lion's share of the commitment will not go into effect until AEG secures an NFL team to play in Los Angeles, according to Becky Dennison with the Los Angeles Community Action Network, which is a member of the Play Fair Coalition.

The coalition sued the state in late August over a law that gave special protections to AEG's proposed stadium project to the alleged detriment of low- income residents around the proposed site of the stadium near L.A. Live and Staples Center. The group was also preparing a lawsuit against the city for alleged violations of the California Environmental Quality Act.

"To be honest, we felt the city really ignored the public, and AEG stepped up to resolve many of the issues where the city did not," Dennison said.  AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke said, "This began as a legal negotiation but soon evolved into a cooperative dialogue about how we could work together to achieve the common goal of serving the needs of all segments of the community on important issues such as affordable housing."

"With this important milestone, for the first time in almost two decades the city of Los Angeles is finally poised to see the return of the NFL," Leiweke said. "With this settlement in place, the project can move forward to spur job creation and offer an even more robust package of measures benefiting the community."

JR Salazar November 04, 2012 at 05:52 AM
Hipsters.....nice try, Seattle.
Vito Spago November 04, 2012 at 10:42 AM
Build the stadium in Industry. Not that LA Ghetto.
Julia Nelson November 05, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Yeah, build the stadium in Industry so Diamond Bar can become a ghetto. The stadium will do nothing but bring noise and traffic to the area. Except DB gets some money so it won't sue.
Vito Spago November 05, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Compared to Walnut, DB is a ghetto. Low life apartments, Kmart and Target. Also horrible traffic from the 60/57 to Chino and Chino Hills. I think a stadium would easily bring improvement to that. At least compared to the alternative: A giant strip mall. Enjoy that traffic 24/7.

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