A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has tentatively agreed to let Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG resume construction on its studio in Playa Vista, California, despite environmentalists' claims that the 100-acre development would trample an endangered wetlands habitat, historic buildings and a Native American burial ground.

Several environmental groups sued developers--including DreamWorks, Maguire-Thomas and the Rouse Co.--and the city of Los Angeles earlier this year, saying the project would pollute the Ballona Wetlands, the last remaining tract of wetlands in Los Angeles County. Environmentalists have demonstrated at the site twice this month, including one incident in which several chained themselves to bulldozers.

The developers insist they're following a careful environmental plan that includes setting aside more than 200 acres for restoration. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horowitz has temporarily sided with Spielberg and company, notifying the parties of his tentative ruling Monday morning but allowing 10 days for the filing of additional arguments before he makes his final decision. The judge's eight-page ruling did not directly address the fate of the supposed Shoshone Gabrielino burial ground or the historic Howard Hughes Aircraft factory building.

Regardless of the outcome of the litigation, environmentalists say they will keep demonstrating against DreamWorks and other future tenants.

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