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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cities Clash Over San Gabriel Valley Project

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Two California cities are facing off in Superior Court over the approval of a 592-acre development in the San Gabriel Valley that will include a 75,000-seat NFL stadium, office buildings and a retail complex. The city of Walnut claims the city of Industry approved the massive project "over tremendous public opposition and in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act."

The project site, which consists of grassland, native tree stands, coastal sage scrub raptor foraging habitat, is "one of the last large tracts of open space in the region," according to the plaintiff. The site contains more than 75 bird species and is located along the Pacific Flyway, a key migratory path for birds, the 88-page lawsuit claims.

"The environmental review documents relied upon by Industry for the Project are inadequate in many regards, often understating or even ignoring significant impacts on the environment," Walnut says.

Walnut's opposition to the proposed development stems from its close proximity. The city says the project site "will be extremely visible from many of the residential neighborhoods" and will likely impact the traffic, noise, air quality and light of the minority community. According to the complaint, Walnut consists mainly of Chinese, Korean and other ethnic populations, many of whom don't speak English.

"Although Industry knew that the stadium/entertainment complex would impact large Chinese, Korean, Tagalog and Spanish-speaking populations in Walnut, it failed to provide notices for the Project in any language other than English," the city claims.

Walnut seeks a court order overturning approval of the project, saying Industry violated federal and state laws by ignoring important requirements for a project of that scale. Walnut says Industry needs to prepare an adequate general plan, find a secure water source, obtain permits to remove willow trees and analyze seismic hazards, among other legally required obligations.

It is represented by Douglas Carstens with Chatten-Brown & Carstens.

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