The City Council on Tuesday said it wants to hire an attorney to counter Metro's recent decision to route the under . Mayor William Brien released the following statement Wednesday:
Last night, the Beverly Hills City Council restated its unanimous opposition to a Westside Subway Extension route that would tunnel underneath Beverly Hills High School. City of Beverly Hills representatives will be meeting soon with school district representatives to discuss a coordinated, confidential strategy for stopping Metro from tunneling under the High School.
The city has neither granted nor been asked to grant consent to Metro for a subway tunnel or subway stops in Beverly Hills. I want to be very clear that the City Council unanimously opposes a subway route that tunnels underneath the high school.
The City Council last night directed the City [staff] to engage special legal counsel to fully assert the City’s rights and to protect the City’s interests through the administrative process as Metro considers the final EIR[environmental impact report] and, if necessary, pursue litigation. The City Council reserves all options for dealing with this important issue.
The City has already spent more than $200,000 to engage scientific experts who have raised serious questions about Metro’s justification for tunneling beneath the High School. These experts have called into question the scientific review process, including evaluating the Constellation station and the location of earthquake fault lines.
The statement came after residents appeared before a Tuesday council study session and voiced displeasure with Metro's lack of response to the city's subway studies.
"The school board has done studies, the city has done studies, and Metro has ignored them," Marilyn Gallup told the council. "There's no reason to believe that they would be any more receptive to future studies. ... A resolution from the city council is what is needed, not another study."
Thomas White, Beverly Hills Municipal League president, called on the council to oppose the subway project entirely via a letter of opposition signed by the council, City Attorney Larry Wiener and City Manager Jeff Kolin.
"I don't know to what extent our withdrawal of consent will be effective, but I believe that it should be exhausted in terms of its possibility to protect the residential community ... and the business community as well," White said. "We should simply say 'No, no, no. You've had your chance and you've blown it.' "