INGLEWOOD—A bill that would exempt a proposed Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood from parts of California's environmental laws was introduced Friday by an area legislator.
Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove, D-Los Angeles, said the bill would give the basketball arena the same assist that new arenas in Sacramento and the Bay Area have received.
The proposed Clippers arena would allow the team to move out of Staples Center, which it shares with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings. The arena—details of which are still being negotiated with the city—would be built with private funds on mostly vacant land owned by the city of Inglewood, under a flight path used by hundreds of aircraft daily.
The new arena would be just south of the under-construction football stadium that will house the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers and the entertainment district of restaurants and bars that will accompany it.
In 2017, the city of Inglewood and the Clippers entered into a three-year negotiating window to build the stadium. The proposal has been challenged by the owners of the Forum, a former basketball arena now used as a concert venue in Inglewood.
The Forum is 1 1/2 miles from the new arena site. It is owned by Madison Square Garden, along with Azoff MSG Entertainment Chairman Irving Azoff.
They have filed a lawsuit accusing Inglewood of tricking MSG into giving up the arena's lease of the city-owned land, now intended for the rival arena. MSG officials claim they had a 15-year lease and option to buy on the same city land now coveted by the Clippers.
That suit claims Butts tricked Forum officials into terminating the parking lease, allegedly saying Inglewood needed the space to develop a "Silicon Beach" industrial site in Inglewood.
Forum owners said Friday the proposed legislation to exempt the arena project from some environmental requirements would be "severely damaging to the families and communities of Inglewood."
"The bill creates different rules for those seeking to develop on the proposed arena property and Hollywood Park site, allowing them to sweep the devastating impacts of endless traffic and significant pollution under the rug without regard to environmental impacts while everyone else in Inglewood has to fully comply with environmental protection laws," according to the Forum owners.
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