A group of Hollywood residents on Wednesday alleged the Los Angeles City Council violated the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved the Millennium project – two skyscrapers that would sit adjacent to the Capitol Records building.
The lawsuit focuses in part on allegations the towers would straddle an active earthquake fault and “endanger the lives of thousands of people.”
“What kind of City of Los Angeles leadership would approve this project?” the lawsuit asks. “Compelling evidence showed the Millennium Developer’s geologists, Department of City Planning, and Department of Building and Safety fraudulently hid the fact that an active earthquake fault, capable of surface rupture that shear a building in half, may cross the very site where 39- and 35-story skyscrapers are proposed for construction.”
The lawsuit also claims the city failed to require developers to have a “stable, accurate and finite project description,” as required by law. That prevented the city from accurately analyzing traffic, air quality and noise impacts, according to the suit, which names the city, city council, and the developer — Millennium Hollywood, LLC.
A Millennium spokesperson was not available for comment. A spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, who signed off on the project, re-issued a previous statement on the towers and seismic concerns.
“The City's Department of Building and Safety has directed Millennium to conduct trenching that will be reviewed by the department's geologist,” said Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman. “The state is also mapping the area for any active faults. The city will not permit the construction of new buildings on top of active faults."
Garcetti represented Hollywood on the city council before he was elected mayor. Councilman Mike O’Farrell, a former Garcetti aide, replaced him. O'Farrell also supported the project, arguing it would be good for economic development. The city council unanimously approved the project last month.
California State Geologist John Parrish has said the State Geological Survey would complete a detailed study to identify the exact location of the Hollywood fault within about six months.
Attorney Robert Silverstein, who represents homeowner groups opposed to the project, accused city officials of bending to the will of a developer who has spent substantial amounts of money on campaign contributions and lobbyists.He called city officials “morally bankrupt.”
"The concentration of development in Hollywood will make life unbearable for the residents," said George Abrahams of the Beachwood Canyon Neighborhood Association, one of the groups represented by Silverstein. "We are already prisoners in our own homes due to the traffic."
This story has been updated.