June 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Beverly Hills School District Still Trying to Block Purple Line Extension

Despite being denied on previous occasions, the Beverly Hills Unified School District is asking the Ninth Circuit for an injunction to halt Metro’s tunneling under Beverly Hills High School.

At a hearing of the Ninth Circuit panel in Pasadena on July 15, attorneys for the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) requested that the court revive its previously denied request, that Metro stop tunneling under Beverly Hills High School. This, despite US District Judge George Wu denying a preliminary injunction in January.

The tunneling is required to extend Section 2 of the Purple Line subway to Beverly Hills and Century City. As part of Section 2, a station will be created at Constellation Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars, with Section 3 eventually continuing all the way to Westwood.

At the beginning of this year Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Metro officials announced $1.5 billion in federal grants and loans for the project.

Despite Judge Wu ruling back in August 2016 that construction could begin on Section 2, the school district is still attempting to resurrect its argument that Metro went ahead with its plans without undertaking a proper environmental review.

L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington at the Purple Line Ext section 2 federal funding ceremony on Jan. 4, 2017, at the site of the future Century City Station. Credit: Juan Ocampo for Metro.

BHUSD argues that in order to create the station, Metro would have to tunnel under abandoned oil wells beneath the school, filled with methane gas. BHUSD is requesting an injunction until an additional environmental review is undertaken.

Court News reported at the hearing on July 14, Jennifer Recine, an attorney representing the school, told the Ninth Circuit panel, “The school supports the Purple Line extension, But it is critically important that in funding and constructing a popular and necessary project that the agencies are held to the same exacting environmental standard that we hope would be applied when another agency claims that a 10-lane highway or a nuclear power plant must be located next to an inner city elementary school, or in a habitat of an endangered species.”

The court took the matter under advisement.

 

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