Inglewood

Inglewood Coalition Wins Round in Fight Against City Over Arena

Plans_for_Clippers_Arena_Goes_to_Court

A judge ruled a neighborhood group's petition challenging the Clippers' plans to build an arena on public property in Inglewood can move forward.

On Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary H. Strobel found in favor of Uplift Inglewood Coalition in its lawsuit alleging that Inglewood violated the California Surplus Land Act. The law requires cities to give first priority to affordable housing development when selling public land.

Uplift Inglewood filed the petition in June 2018, alleging the city did not comply with the law before it entered into formal negotiations to sell over 22 acres of city-owned land for the development of a Clippers arena.

The ruling "is a step forward for our neighbors in Inglewood who are simply asking the city of Inglewood to follow California's affordable housing laws," said coalition member D'artagnan Scorza.

"In the midst of booming development -- which has caused skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing -- it simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents."

Public land should be used for the public good and access to housing is central to building strong communities, according to Scorza.

Uplift Inglewood maintains that the land should have been offered first for affordable housing development before being offered to the Clippers.

Trial is scheduled for September, at which time the coalition says it will also seek to enforce several other state housing laws meant to address Inglewood's and other cities' housing and homeless crises.

Clippers arena or affordable housing? Plans for Inglewood land goes to court. Angie Crouch reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

The coalition's website states the group is made up of parents, teachers, students, faith leaders and others "looking to help shape the future of our city so that working families can continue to live in Inglewood and benefit from the city's resurgence."

The Clippers are looking forward to prevailing at trial, according to a spokesman for the project.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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