The owner of the Forum joined a long-time Inglewood resident in filing a petition Friday challenging the constitutionality of special legislation passed solely for the Los Angeles Clippers to fast-track an environmental review of the team’s proposed new arena complex in Inglewood.
The Los Angeles Superior Court petition alleges that the law authorizing fast-tracking AB 987 violates the state constitution and that creating special rules just for the Clippers undermines the rights of Inglewood residents. The court action further alleges the law will cause significant harm to the environment and quality of life for the surrounding Inglewood community.
The Clippers are proposing an 18,000-seat arena, as well as three parking structures, a practice facility, retail space and other development on 28 acres in Inglewood, all near a residential neighborhood just blocks from the Forum and the new SoFi Stadium, where the Rams and Chargers will play.
In a statement, Forum owners MSG Forum LLC said the lawsuit is an extension of the community-wide opposition to the Clippers’ arena.
“Fast-tracking environmental review for this harmful project is not only damaging to Inglewood residents, it is also unconstitutional,” the statement read. “The Clippers’ own analysis shows the arena will be devastating for Inglewood and the entire region.”
In addition to the Forum, the lawsuit was filed by Saulo Eber Chan, a long-time Inglewood homeowner living adjacent to the proposed arena site. John Spiegel, an attorney for the Clippers’ arena developers, did not immediately return a call for comment.
“With respect to this project, AB 987 undermines the robust environmental protections that California law would ordinarily provide to the residents of Inglewood and neighboring communities,” the lawsuit states. “If the Clippers’ project proceeds in its current form, it will inflict severe traffic congestion, pollution and many other harms on Inglewood and its local residents.”
The plaintiffs and Inglewood residents “should not suffer environmental impacts just so (the Clippers) can construct an arena more quickly and inexpensively,” the lawsuit states.
The draft environmental impact report for the project prepared by the city of Inglewood and the Clippers acknowledges it will create more than 40 significant, unavoidable environmental impacts on the surrounding area, including significant and unavoidable traffic impacts at 61 intersections in addition to neighborhood streets and nearby freeways, according to lawyers for the plaintiffs.