Activists filed suit against the Department of Defense and its handpicked builder of the Navy Broadway Complex on Thursday, alleging the development partners breached a federal environment law.

San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, a local nonprofit, is suing several Pentagon agencies and magnate Doug Manchester’s entity that is redeveloping the waterfront military property from crumbling parking lots and drab buildings into a dense bouquet of hotels, office buildings, shops and museum space. The group argues that the Department of Defense’s decision in November that the project’s environmental impacts were negligible was flawed and did not include the appropriate amount of time for public input.

The Navy and Manchester forged a deal, which requires the developer to build the Navy a secure regional headquarters in exchange for a 99-year lease of surrounding land, last month.

Among the problems, the lawsuit claims, is that the Defense Department and the Navy determined on Nov. 29 that no new significant environmental impacts have been made since the site was vetted in 1990. The coalition said that new information regarding increased traffic, air pollution, risk due to potential terrorist attacks and earthquakes should have been restudied in November, and that members of the public should have had a chance to weigh in on those and other issues.

The group and others have made similar complaints to the City Council, which will review the state environmental documents Tuesday.

You can read the lawsuit here. A press conference featuring members of the coalition will be held to unveil the complaint tomorrow.


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