LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Opponents of a plan to build two Hollywood high rises claim city officials have known since at least last year the proposed site could be near a fault line.
The Millennium Hollywood Project – which would include 39- and 35-story skyscrapers flanking the Capitol Records building along Vine Street between Yucca Street and Hollywood Boulevard – was approved by the L.A. City Council late last month.
Project opponents claim city leaders secretly discussed concerns about the towers being built along an earthquake fault line and failed to disclose their concerns in a previous study that showed no earthquake risks.
Attorney Robert Silverstein represents those against the project.
He released an email from a city engineer written in March 2012 which he claims shows Building and Safety officials were aware of the issue.
In the email, which is on file at City Hall, the engineer writes that the state geological survey of 2010 considered the Hollywood fault active and shows that it appears to exist near the proposed sites of the two towers.
Silverstein claims the email is an alarm executives at New York-based real-estate development firm Millennium Partners are trying to mute.
“They’ve been denying it’s anywhere near their property,” he told KNX1070′s Ed Mertz.
Silverstein called for city leaders to form a “panel of neutral experts” to conduct a new study.
He said a lawsuit to stop the towers’ development could be filed within 2 weeks.
A spokesperson for Millennium Partners said the firm found no evidence of a fault line near the towers’ site.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the area, meanwhile repeated assurances Wednesday that Millennium Partners will need to “complete seismic and geological studies to the satisfaction” of building and safety officials, who decide whether to give out construction permits.
“To be clear, approval of the EIR does not equal building permits,” he told City News Service. “Approval of the EIR by the City Council and the mayor is one of the many steps in the development process for the Millennium project.”
Final tests on the site are expected to be completed by next year, when city officials are expected to make a final decision on the project.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)