By Matt Reynolds, July 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Los Angeles County overlooked the dangers of building
a 9-mile subway extension that crosses fault lines under Beverly Hills
High School, the City of Beverly Hills claims in court.
sued the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority in Superior
Court, seeking an injunction against the Westside Subway Extension
Project. Beverly Hills claims the project violates the California
Environmental Quality Act, and wants the county to seek an alternate
In the works for almost 30 years, the subway project would
extend the Metro Purple Line from its terminus at the Wilshire-Western
station to incorporate seven new stations.
From Beverly Hills to
Century City's Constellation Station, trains will travel northwest to
Westwood, to a new endpoint close to West Los Angeles Veterans
But the city claims the plan to tunnel beneath homes and the 80-year-old high school endangers students and residents.
high school's environmental setting is unique in that its grounds
contain more than a dozen actively producing oil wells, as well as a
number of former oil well sites," the 10-page lawsuit states.
the extension was approved, "no fewer than eight" studies warned of the
"seismic risks" of tunneling beneath the high school, the city says. It
notes that one of the "eagerly" anticipated reports came from the
California Geological Survey - "the state agency tasked with identifying
Planners said a rejected alternative for the
extension, along Santa Monica Boulevard, would cross fault lines, and
contend that the Constellation Station site is safer.
Beverly Hills says the study shines a light on a need for a "full and
complete investigation and disclosure of the basis for Metro's
Santa Monica Boulevard station is now a "feasible" alternative, the city says.
information in the post-approval seismic studies undercuts a key
foundation for Metro's decision, namely, that the presence of faulting
along Santa Monica Boulevard and the absence of faulting near
Constellation Station made the Constellation Station site and associated
subway alignment the most desirable alternative," the complaint states.
a voter-approved tax measure known as Measure R, the Metro decided in
June to break ground on the project much sooner than first planned.
Beverly Hills says the accelerated schedule will increase air pollution,
traffic and noise.
The city this year filed a federal complaint against the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, for approving funding for the subway.
Beverly Hills is represented by Robert Perlmutter with Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger of San Francisco.
Metro did not immediately respond to a request for comment after business hours Monday.