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California Legislature

L.A. Olympics organizers to state senator: Please take us out of your bill

Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, speaks during a news conference about Los Angeles' 2028 Olympic bid. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, speaks during a news conference about Los Angeles' 2028 Olympic bid. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The organizing committee for Los Angeles' bid to host the 2028 Olympic Games wants the summertime sports event removed from last-minute state legislation that would ease its ability to build transit projects.

On Friday, state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) unveiled a bill that would exempt any bus, rail or other transit project related to Los Angeles' 2028 event from the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, the state's primary law governing development. The law requires developers to disclose and reduce a project's environmental impact — a process that often is costly, time-consuming and fraught with litigation.

But in a letter sent to Bradford on Friday, LA 2028 CEO Gene Sykes said the measure wasn't needed.

"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 wrote.

It's unclear what coordination Bradford's office had with Olympic organizers prior to introducing the bill. Both a spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and an executive with the Metropolitan Transit Authority have told the Los Angeles Times that they didn't request the legislation.

The bill also includes major relief under CEQA for a proposed NBA arena for the Los Angeles Clippers in Inglewood.

Bradford's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the LA 2028 letter.

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