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AEG holds Farmers Field workshop

By Sonali Kohli
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at 12:31PM
Sonali Kohli

Michael Roth, vice president of communications for AEG, talks to attendees about the effect a new Downtown stadium will have on air quality.

Community members gathered for an information session at the LA Convention Center Monday night to learn more about the proposed Downtown football stadium.

The Anschultz Entertainment Group held the meeting four days after releasing a 10,000-page environmental impact report that outlines the increased expectations in traffic, noise and lights that Downtown will face with the addition of a football stadium next to Staples Center.

The report also has solutions, like improving public transportation, parking and intersections.

Some came in support of the project including contractors who will compete to build the new stadium, as well as the director of “Bring Back the Rams,” a group of “long-suffering Los Angeles Rams fans” who want to see their team return from St. Louis.

Others, however, were unsatisfied before the meeting even started.

Members of the Los Angeles Community Action Network held a press conference before Monday’s workshop, calling on the city to extend the 45-day public comment period to 90 days. They said 10,000 pages is too much to sift through in such a short time.

If someone requests more time because of an “extenuating environmental concern,” the city will consider extending the public comment period, senior city planner Jon Foreman said. The current length is common for environmental impact reports, so he said he did not know whether an extension would be granted. Foreman encouraged people reviewing the draft to split it into sections, rather than have one person read the entire report.

Another concern is that the draft report does not address possible impacts on housing and displacement in the area, said Becky Demnison, co-director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network.

The information session featured representatives from each of the companies involved in drafting the report. Representatives stood at stations around the room, with maps, graphs and photos to help answer questions community members had. There was also a station where attendees could submit their comments either online or on paper.

Much of the 10,000 pages of the report consists of appendices with technical reports, said Jennifer Regan, AEG’s global sustainability director. Most stations at the workshop had handouts to clarify the main points of each section of the report, Regan said.

The goal is to make it so that 10,000 pages isn’t daunting, she added.

Rachel Harrold came to the workshop because of traffic concerns. She works Downtown, and the stadium would add traffic in many of Downtown’s already crowded corridors. But Harrold said she felt “a little better” after learning about the extended public transportation services that will come with the project.


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