Press Release April 29, 2019

City of Los Angeles Prevails in Cumulus Project Challenge

Alston & Bird successfully defended an appeal challenging the city of Los Angeles’s approval of one of its largest development projects.

The ruling, made by California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal, affirmed the trial court’s decision in full, upholding the city’s approvals and environmental review of the project – a mixed-use, transit-oriented development to be constructed one block from the La Cienega/Jefferson Station on the Metro Expo line.

Known as the Cumulus project, the development will be constructed on an 11-acre site and will include more than 1,200 residential units; 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and office space; and a publicly accessible park of more than half an acre.

The case arose when an organization called the Crenshaw Subway Coalition challenged the city’s approval of a general plan amendment for the project, arguing the city could not approve a general plan amendment for a single project under the city charter. The petitioner also challenged the city’s environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act, raising claims as to the city’s review of alternatives to the project, land use analysis, and traffic mitigation measures.

Defending the project’s approvals and environmental review through the city’s administrative process and all stages of the litigation was an Alston & Bird team led by partner Ed Casey, senior associate Andrea Warren, associate Max Rollens, and planning director Kathleen Hill of the firm’s Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group.

The case is Crenshaw Subway Coal. v. City of L.A. B285588 (Cal. Ct. App. Apr. 17, 2019).

It is the second major land use case that Alston & Bird has successfully defended in Los Angeles in recent months. In August 2018, the firm won a decision from the same appellate court upholding the city’s general plan amendment for an 800,000-square-foot mixed-use, transit-oriented project known as the Martin Expo Town Center.
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Nicholas Clarke
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Phone: 212.210.1222
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