Beverly Hills Files Suit to Block Century City Subway Route

Beverly Hills opposes a route to Century City that tunnels underneath the Beverly Hills High School.

The city of Beverly Hills is suing the Federal Transit Administration, alleging that a subway extension to the Westside that travels beneath Beverly Hills High School violates federal law.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles federal court, alleges that the federal agency relied on the same environmental impact statement and environmental approval process that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority used when it approved the new route.

The city is asking that the federal government withhold funding of the Westside Subway Extension until an alternate environmental impact report can be prepared.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District has filed a similar lawsuit against the FTA, and it is likely the two complaints will be heard sometime next year. If the city and school district prevail, federal funding for the subway extension would be unavailable until an alternative procedure is followed.

"The Beverly Hills City Council has been very clear about its opposition to any tunnel beneath Beverly Hills High School," Beverly Hills City Attorney Laurence Wiener said. "The city has consistently exercised every opportunity available to legally challenge Metro in this regard."

Last year, the city forced Metro to hold a hearing under the Public Utilities Code on the subject of whether tunneling under the high school is appropriate. Beverly Hills then filed a challenge in state court to Metro's "failure to adequately provide that hearing" and Metro's failure to "properly comply" with the state Environmental Quality Act, according to the city.

Beverly Hills supports the Westside extension, including two stops in Beverly Hills, but opposes a route to Century City that tunnels underneath the high school.

Work began last year to extend the line from downtown to the Westside under Wilshire Boulevard, with the goal of reaching West Los Angeles in 2036.

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