Beverly Hills appeals ruling that lets Metro tunnel under high school

Plans call for drilling a subway tunnel 70 feet beneath Beverly Hills High School.
(Reed Saxon / AP)

The Beverly Hills Unified School District and the city of Beverly Hills on Thursday appealed a trial court decision that allows the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to move ahead with plans to build a subway tunnel beneath Beverly Hills High School.

In April, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John A. Torribio denied the two entities’ challenges to Metro’s decision on the subway route. Their cases will now go to the California Court of Appeal.

The city and the school district contend that Metro’s board did not follow proper procedures when it made its decision to locate the tunnel for the planned extension of the Westside subway. As a result, the two maintain, information about the risks associated with tunneling under the school was not adequately considered.


The route Metro chose includes a station near Constellation Boulevard in Century City, west of the high school, that will require tunneling under parts of the campus. Metro had considered an alternative route along Santa Monica Boulevard but discarded it after agency studies found a complex earthquake fault zone in that area.

Metro said in a statement that it was confident the court’s ruling would be upheld.

Since the ruling, Metro added, “we’ve received another vote of confidence from the federal government with the recent award of $2.1 billion in grants and loans for the first section of subway.” Metro said it would soon award the contract for that work.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky criticized Beverly Hills’ action.

“The Beverly Hills Unified School District has already spent more than $3 million of voter-approved construction-bond money on a losing effort to block the Westside subway extension,” he said. “It’s most unfortunate that the city and the school district … now insist on further running up the legal bills by appealing a trial court decision that could not have been more clear-cut in Metro’s favor.”