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Hollywood groups sue to stop skyscraper project

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POSTED August 28, 2013 10:29 p.m.

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coalition of residents who live in famed Hollywood neighborhoods filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop a $654 million skyscraper project from rising just down the hill from the landmark Hollywood Sign because of earthquake concerns.

The suit filed Wednesday says city officials approved the project without informing the public of environmental impacts including the likelihood that the Millenium towers would sit on top of an earthquake fault.

The suit was filed by neighborhood groups against the City of Los Angeles and the developers, Millenium Hollywood, LLC. The developers want to build towers 39 and 35 stories tall surrounding the famed Capitol Records building.

Residents say city officials hid the knowledge that the 4.5 acre site is on a fault that could shear the buildings in half if a major earthquake hit the city.

It's the second lawsuit filed this week. The "W'' Hotel, which sits down the street from the planned project near Hollywood and Vine Streets has also filed a challenge on environmental grounds.

In a news conference outside the courthouse, attorney Robert Silverstein, who represents Stop The Millienium.com and other neighborhood groups, accused the City Council of collaborating with the developer, Millennium Partners, to hide potential earthquake dangers and other environmental and traffic problems. The suit demands a new environmental impact report as we'll as geological testing to map the Hollywood Fault to see if it runs under the project.

Millenium Partners issued a statement saying the lawsuit was unwarranted and said, "We have gone above and beyond the requirements for most development projects in Los Angeles to conduct seismic studies that conclusively demonstrate the safety of our project site."

However the group said they will do "any additional geotechnical investigations that may be warranted."

Silverstein accused the mayor and city counsel of rushing to approve the project because of "the corrosive influence" of the developer's campaign contributions and its $4 million campaign to lobby city officials.

Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, in whose district the project would rise, did not return a request for comment.

 

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