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Lawsuit Over Proposed LA Clippers Inglewood Arena Will Proceed

Los Angeles Clippers

Late last week, a judge ruled that a lawsuit filed by the Uplift Inglewood Coalition over a proposed Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood can proceed.

Inglewood began an exclusive 36-month negotiating period with Clippers-controlled entity Murphy’s Bowl, LLC in the summer of 2017, with discussions revolving around a privately financed arena and surrounding development on city-owned land along West Century Boulevard. The project is currently under environmental review and has not been finalized, but the ongoing discussions prompted a lawsuit from the Uplift Inglewood Coalition.

In a claim filed last June, the community group alleged that the city failed to comply with the Surplus Land Act. A state law, the Surplus Land Act stipulates that public bodies must grant first priority to affordable housing development when selling public land. Inglewood and Murphy’s Bowl sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary H. Strobel issued a ruling on Thursday that allows it to proceed. The trial is currently scheduled for September 24. More from the Los Angeles Times:

Judge Mary H. Strobel rejected attempts by Inglewood and Murphy’s Bowl to dismiss the action, including arguments that the act hasn’t been triggered because the city still owns the property.

“Therefore, the transfer of the property cannot be the triggering event for the agency’s mandatory duty of notice and negotiations,” Strobel wrote. “Otherwise, the SLA would be unenforceable.”…

“Today’s ruling is a step forward for our neighbors … who are simply asking the City of Inglewood to follow California’s affordable housing laws,” D’Artagnan Scorza, an Inglewood resident representing Uplift Inglewood, said in a statement.

A spokesman for the project, which is under environmental review, said the team is looking forward to prevailing at trial.

The LA Clippers Inglewood arena has been floated as a long-term facility solution for the team, which is approaching the end of its lease at Staples Center. That agreement currently runs through 2024.

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