Beverly Hills City Council members have taken the first step to possibly challenge the controversial and proposed Westside subway route that would run underneath the Beverly Hills High School campus.

Beverly Hills Courier reported last night that the City Council voted to hire “a lawyer in preparation for litigation against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro).” If a lawsuit is filed, it could delay any construction of the multi-billion-dollar public transportation project.

“The City Council … directed the city to engage special legal counsel to fully assert the city's rights and to protect the city's interest through the administrative process as Metro considers the final [environmental impact report] and, if necessary, pursue litigation,” Beverly Hills Mayor Willie Brien said in a written statement.

L.A. Weekly predicted such a brouhaha in the July 14, 2011, cover story “Beverly Hills Versus the Westside Subway.”

Beverly Hills officials, particularly Beverly Hills Unified School District board members, are concerned that a subway tunnel underneath the high school campus could prevent a multi-million-dollar renovation there.

Beverly Hills Unified School District attorney Kevin Brogan recently blasted Metro's final environmental impact report.

“Metro is putting process and politics ahead of substance and safety by recklessly pressing ahead with a so-called 'final' EIR,” Brogan said in a press statement on March 19. “Metro's continued reliance on flawed studies and information to justify a more expensive station that benefits politically-connected developers at the expense of everyone else — including future generations of public schoolchildren — is unacceptable and will not go unchallenged.”

Stay tuned for more major developments in the coming weeks. On April 26, Metro board members, who include Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, will consider the proposed route under the high school campus.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

Follow McDonald on Twitter and his Facebook page.

LA Weekly