Gov. Gavin Newsom has granted a fast-track to the proposed $1.2 billion Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood, clearing the way for the project to move into the early stages of environmental review within the next month.
Newsom’s certification under AB 987 prevents any litigation from stalling the project for more than 270 days.
According to The California Air Resources Board the next step sends the certification to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, but the panel currently isn’t scheduled to meet again until March. If the committee does not take any action by mid-January, the governor’s decision will stand automatically.
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, one of the committee’s 16 members, previously expressed his opposition in a joint letter stating the project would increase traffic and air pollution in Inglewood, and ultimately “shortchange the very communities the project purports to benefit.”
The California Air Resources Board signed off on the fast-track last month after nearly a year of back and forth negotiations with the Clippers. The basketball team’s owners agreed to install electric chargers at the arena and residences in the surrounding area, to purchase electric vehicles for the municipal fleet, and to plant 1,000 trees, as part of the project’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Receiving the state’s certification is just more evidence that this project will be — by far — one of the most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient sports venues in the country,” said Chris Meany, a developer on the project, in a statement.
The Clippers also have offered $100 million in community benefits, including up to $75 million for affordable housing.
In its own statement Tuesday, MSG., which owns the nearby Forum concert venue, condemned the approval and pledged to continue to fight the project.
“The fact that it took almost an entire year and six submissions to the State before this action is clear evidence the Clippers arena plan is deeply flawed,” a company spokesman said.
“Many more steps in the review process remain for this proposal, which has been publicly opposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Climate Resolve, Public Counsel, and scores of community leaders and residents.”