Activists sue California over law expediting Farmers Field

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A coalition of activists are suing California over a law that could block challenges to a proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

The Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition includes environmentalists and the Los Angeles Community Action Network. Its lawsuit, filed Thursday morning, targets California State Senate Bill 292. Last year, the legislature passed the law that sends all environmental challenges to the Farmers Field project directly to the state Court of Appeals.

"A project of this size will have enormous environmental and other health impacts on surrounding communities, and a robust and constitutionally valid process is crucial to protecting community health," the coalition said in a statement.

The proposed stadium’s opponents say the 72,000-seat Farmers Field would create massive traffic jams on game days — and would reduce the amount of affordable housing in the area.

In a statement, stadium developer Anschutz Entertainment Group said it's confident that the law will survive legal challenges and called it "common sense legislation intended to put people back to work during these difficult times and fully protect and expand the public's participation in the environmental process."

Anschutz is hoping a new stadium will lure an NFL team back to L.A. and has pledged to spend about $35 million to reduce traffic problems.

The city of Los Angeles Planning Commission expects to review the environmental impact report of Farmer’s Field next month.

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