In a 50-page ruling handed down Tuesday, January 10th, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger upheld a City of Los Angeles decision in 2004 to approve The Village at Playa Vista, the second phase of the Playa Vista project.
The decision upholds the creation of a neighborhood retail center, public parks, and 2,600 residential units.
The City of Santa Monica, the Ballona Wetlands Land Trust, the Surfrider Foundation, and Anthony Morales filed a petition for writ of mandate in 2004 against the City of Los Angeles, seeking to vacate the approval of the environmental impact report (EIR) for The Village.
Petitioners alleged that the EIR did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act and failed to consider the possible existence of Native American sacred burial sites, high methane gas concentration, increased wastewater, and increased traffic.
“The EIR provided the public and the decision-makers with all relevant information, allowing the decision-makers to make an informed decision,” Highberger wrote in his ruling.
Playa Vista president Steve Soboroff said “the judge upheld a decision made by the Los Angeles City Council after one of the most comprehensive environmental reviews in the city’s history.”
Despite Highberger’s ruling, local environmentalists said they would ask the Los Angeles City Council to force Playa Vista to make another environmental impact report.