Sierra Club to Oppose Playa Vista

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Sierra Club announced Monday that it is filing a legal brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a case by other environmental groups to stop a portion of the Playa Vista development on Los Angeles' Westside. The Supreme Court has not decided yet whether to hear the petition by the Wetlands Action Network and the California Public Interest Research Group.

A U.S. district judge and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have denied a request by environmentalists to stop developers from bulldozing 16.1 acres of wetlands in the 1,087-acre planned project of housing, offices, stores and open space. The courts ruled that the federal permit to work on the tract near Playa del Rey did not violate environmental law.

Among other things, the environmental groups contend that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wrongly considered the effects on the land piecemeal before issuing the permit.

"They only considered impacts to 16 acres of scattered wetlands, instead of the entire site," said Robert Roy van de Hoek, chairman of the Sierra Club's Ballona Wetlands Task Force. "The Army Corps has put on blinders."

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