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L.A. football stadium plan may spark broader look at development process, lawmaker says

February 2, 2011 |  3:23 pm

Those behind a proposed Los Angeles football stadium want to avoid delays caused by red tape, but the remedy may have to be a broader revision of the development-approval process rather than a bill exempting just their one project from environmental rules, some lawmakers indicated Wednesday.

Two legislative leaders said they are enthusiastic about the 64,000-seat NFL stadium proposed for downtown Los Angeles by billionaire Philip Anschutz. But they were chilly toward the idea of approving legislation that would grant the project the same environmental-rule waiver approved two years ago for developer Ed Roski Jr.'s rival football stadium project proposed in the City of Industry.

"I think that the notion of bringing a football stadium to downtown Los Angeles would be wonderful," said Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles) at a news conference on another issue.

"At the same time we need to be thoughtful about what role we play," he added. "We have all said we are open to discussions about making corrections to take away burdensome hurdles in the environmental process. It can’t be a one-off solution, and it has to be focused on making reforms that don’t undermine any of the standards in place."

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act approved by the Legislature in 2009 for Roski involved "extraordinary circumstances."

"I’m not interested in CEQA exemptions," Steinberg said.

-- Patrick McGreevy