LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A judge ruled a neighborhood group’s petition challenging the Clippers’ plans to build a new NBA stadium on public property can move forward.

On Thursday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary H. Strobel found in favor of Uplift Inglewood Coalition in its lawsuit alleging that the city of Inglewood violated the California Surplus Land Act. The law requires cities to give first priority to affordable housing development when selling public land.

Uplift Inglewood filed the petition in June of 2018, alleging the city did not comply with the law before it entered into formal negotiations to sell over 22 acres of city-owned land for the development of a Clippers arena.

Calling the ruling a “significant victory,” Uplift Inglewood Coalition said that “in the midst of booming development — which has caused skyrocketing rents and the loss of affordable housing — it simply does not make any sense to prioritize an NBA arena over the needs of Inglewood residents. Public land should be used for the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”

Uplift Inglewood Coalition says that more than 80 percent of Inglewood residents qualify for affordable housing as rents increase across the city.

The Clippers have not released a statement regarding the ruling.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer doesn’t want the franchise to share the Staples Center with the Lakers and Kings after the team’s lease expires after the 2024 season. The team has been at Staples Center since 1999.

The planned 18,000-seat arena in Inglewood would be located near the football stadium being built for the NFL’s Rams and Chargers.

The Inglewood City Council in 2017 unanimously approved an exclusive negotiating agreement for development of an NBA basketball arena for the Clippers on a 22-acre plot of city-owned land.

A trial is scheduled for September.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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