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State leaders may waive some rules for proposed stadium project

September 3, 2009 |  4:11 pm

With just days left in this year’s legislative session, backers of a plan to build a pro football stadium in the city of Industry are aggressively lobbying legislative leaders on a plan to waive environmental and planning rules for the proposed 75,000-seat facility.

The lawmakers have pledged to consider the request.

Billionaire real estate developer Ed Roski pitched his idea — as a job-creating machine — to Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) in a meeting today that also included Maria Elena Durazo, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Roski gained some yardage.

"The project may be an important opportunity to create thousands of high-wage jobs," Alicia Trost, a spokeswoman for Steinberg, said after the meeting in his office. "He is considering it."

Shannon Murphy, a spokeswoman for Bass, said, "If there’s a way to maximize jobs with minimal impact on the environment, this speaker’s going to look at it."

The proposal also would protect the stadium project from lawsuits, such as one filed by the adjacent city of Walnut in an attempt to block it. Word of Roski's lobbying has officials in Walnut worried.

"If the California Legislature gets involved, it certainly takes away local control," said Rob Wishner, Walnut’s city manager. The proposed stadium is "not a statewide issue,"’ he said.

—Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento