State bill would exempt projects tied to 2028 Olympics from CEQA

Sen. Steven Bradford proposed bill that would benefit Inglewood’s Clippers arena in his district

A rendering of the Crenshaw/LAX project (credit: Metro)
A rendering of the Crenshaw/LAX project (credit: Metro)

State Sen. Steven Bradford has “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” on his mind.

The lawmaker proposed a bill last week that would impact all transit-related projects that would make L.A.’s 2028 Olympics more accessible to visitors and residents.

It would exempt such projects from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), including the new L.A. Clippers arena in Inglewood and a transit service connecting a future stop on the Crenshaw/LAX line to Inglewood’s Forum — both of which fall in Bradford’s legislative district.

Some of the L.A. Olympics biggest cheerleaders, however, are not on board. Gene Sykes, head of the Olympic bid committee LA 2028,  issued a letter to Bradford saying the bill isn’t necessary, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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“While we appreciate any efforts to support the Games, as the LA 2028 plan does not require building any new transit infrastructure, a CEQA exemption is unnecessary and we request that references to the Olympics be removed from the legislation as amended,” Sykes said in a statement.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s spokesperson echoed the same sentiment, and said the Mayor’s office did not request the bill’s amendments. In fact, Garcetti only saw the final draft of the bill on the day it was proposed.

The bill, called SB-789, would give the developer of the Clippers arena more power to take private property through eminent domain and halt a judge’s ability to block the project, according to the L.A. Times.

Bradford said he proposed the bill because the Olympics and construction of the Clippers stadium were too important to risk stalling through CEQA. [LAT] — Subrina Hudson