How much does Beverly Hills want this subway to go away? Let us count the ways …
The city announced this week that it is suing the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for approving the Metro subway's Westside extension funding eligibility while relying on a “flawed” environmental-impact report:
The city says the feds violated their own rules, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and “related federal laws.” It's the town's second federal lawsuit against the FTA over the subway extension.
According to a city statement:
After weeks of preparation, the City filed a 28-page complaint in federal court, stating that the FTA relied on the same flawed Environmental Impact Statement and environmental approval process that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) used when it approved the subway route under Beverly Hills High School. NEPA is the federal counterpart to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The City is asking that the federal government withhold funding of the Westside Subway Extension until an adequate environmental impact statement can be prepared.
Of course, flaws are in the eye of the beholder, and the feds have yet to acknowledge any problems with the EIR(s) in this case.
The city argues that Metro failed to hold a public meeting on the environmental impacts of tunneling under Beverly Hills High School, which is where the subway route would go, thus making the plans a violation of state law as well.
The Beverly Hills City Council voted earlier this month to add another quarter million dollars $1 million war chest to keep the subway from going underneath the school.
Laurence Wiener, Beverly Hills City Attorney:
The Beverly Hills City Council has been very clear about its opposition to any tunnel beneath Beverly Hills High School. The City has consistently exercised every opportunity available to legally challenge Metro in this regard.