A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a neighborhood group in Inglewood, California seeking to block plans by the Clippers to build a new NBA stadium, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Judge Mary Strobel on Thursday ruled in favor of the Uplift Inglewood Coalition, which alleges the city did not comply with affordable-housing regulations when it negotiated with the Clippers to sell 22 acres of city-owned land for a new arena.
Strobel sided with the coalition in ruling that the deal violated the California Surplus Land Act, which requires that cities in the Golden State give first dibs to affordable housing development when developing public land, according to CBS.
In a statement shared with the station, the coalition called Strobel’s decision a “significant victory.”
“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,” the statement read. “Public land for the use of the public good, and access to housing is central to building strong communities.”
The coalition says more than 80 percent of residents in Inglewood qualify for affordable housing. Gentrification has been threatening affordable housing in cities across the country in recent years. California’s San Francisco County has some of the highest housing costs in the country, according to USA Today.
The Clippers did not respond to a request by CBS for comment.
The Clippers have played out of the Staples Center since 1999 and share the space with the Lakers and Kings. When the franchise’s lease expires after the 2024 season, owner Steve Ballmer would like the team to have its own space.
The 18,000-seat Inglewood arena would be located near a football stadium for the NFL’s Rams and Chargers that is now under construction.