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Friday, August 29, 2014

Silver Lake Reservoir might go down the drain for pipeline construction

The 800-million gallon Silver Lake Reservoir might be left high and dry for 18 months to allow for the proposed installation of a new water line.  The Department of Water and Power had initially planned to dig a nearly mile-long tunnel under Redesdale Avenue west of the reservoir and tear up the small park – dubbed the Grassy Knoll – by the Silver Lake Recreation Center to install a new water pipeline and regulator station. The pipeline is part of a larger project to bypass and take the Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs out of commission in order to meet more stringent federal water guidelines.

But after facing intense neighborhood criticism over noise, dust and traffic detours, DWP engineers looked at alternatives that would be less disruptive to residents and motorists.  The result is a proposal now under study that would route a  66-inch wide  pipeline across the bed of the reservoir and connect it to an existing pipe that runs through the dam at the south end of the reservoir, said Glenn Singley, Director of Water Engineering and Technical Services.

“This would greatly reduce the impact to the community from a traffic stand point  and a construction standpoint,” Singley said.

The trade off,  however, is that residents surrounding the reservoir would be looking at an “empty hole” for about 18 months,  said Silver Lake Neighborhood Council member Michael Masterson, who mentioned the new DWP proposal during Wednesday night’s meeting.  “If it minimizes dust, construction, tearing up streets – I think it’s worth it,” said Masterson, who sits on a council committee focused on the reservoirs.

No final decision has been made about rerouting the pipeline on to the bed of the reservoir and draining the water, however.  Singley said engineers are still finalizing the proposal, which needed to be cleared with county healthy officials, who wanted assurances that the drinking water in the pipe would not be contaminated with water once the reservoir is refilled.  Under one scenario, water from the Silver Lake Reservoir would be filtered and piped into the adjoining Ivanhoe Reservoir before being distributed into the city water system.

If the DWP goes ahead with the new proposal, the job of draining the reservoir and installing the pipe would not begin for at least another year, Singley said. More details of the project would be provided at upcoming community meetings, he said.

73 comments

  1. Noooooo! I’d much rather deal with traffic than stare at an empty pit for a year and a half. The reservoir is a focal point of our community — please, please, please don’t take it away.

    • The reservoir isn’t the focal point of the ENTIRE community. There are many residents of this community who are not fortunate enough to have access to the beautiful views of the reservoir. Yet we have been inconvenienced greatly by the endless construction along Glendale & Rowena Blvd. I am willing to have the reservoir drained again if it means that I will not have to suffer as many road closures and detours that I have to face to access the Trader Joe’s and other amenities which are only located on the more affluent side of our community.

      • Jerry Malatesta

        I understand your point. Fortunately the walking paths, the rec center, the dog park, and the meadow are available to the ENTIRE community. It’s the closest thing we have to a common.

        • That’s exactly what DWP wants to hear.

          I hate the traffic impacts of this project, but it would definitely be worse for me to see the reservoir drained since I walk/jog around it almost every day.

          This is a classic DWP threat. They’re saying: Calm down, Silver Lake traffic complainers, it could be A LOT worse.

          Regardless, in the end it will be all about money. Which option is cheaper? Which one provides more union jobs?

          • Some of you are totally unaware of the issues — serious issues — that residents on Waverly Drive, Glendale Blvd., Rokeby Street, and Rowena — have faced for 9 months. It is NOT simply about traffic and inconvenience getting to and from the neighborhood.

            At least 3 dozen residents have been dealing with health issues from this extended construction project. From asthmatic conditions, to bronchial infections that don’t/won’t go away, to decreased lung capacity, to more. Not for a day or a week, but MONTHS. Some are still dealing with the after effects, even after DWP has moved down the street. If you haven’t lived next to this longterm construction, then all you probably see is “traffic inconvenience.”

            Want to know what really went on and what happened since last September? I mean, REALLY KNOW? Then read this article series at the Patch:
            http://echopark.patch.com/topics/blog-series-dwps-new-pipeline-the-real-chinatown

            Everyone living along the previously proposed pipeline route, and near the estimated 2-Year construction, would NOT want to go through this. Looking at an empty lake for 18 months is a no brainer, versus a % of people getting ill, some seriously.

    • Hell to the yah! Giant skate park!

  2. I think it would be detrimental to way more people to drain the reservoir than to continue on the existing plan. I live in the neighborhood and am definitely annoyed by all the construction, etc, but I also use the reservoir on a pretty regular basis and the enjoyment I get from it far outweighs any annoyance from current road construction. Draining the reservoir would drain the heart of our amazing neighborhood.

  3. Is the reservoir still needed? Excellent location and land for low income housing, me thinks.

    • Are you a developer?

      If not, are you kidding?!?!?!?!?

    • That’s a great idea…it could house thousands of low income, working class families in need after this tragic economic downturn. I’m sure all the ultra liberal Silverlake residents would welcome the idea of helping all these poor people in the center of their community. In fact, I bet they would even vote for a special assessment on their property to offset the development cost. It’s a win win for everyone!

  4. No. Do not make this brainless move. Find a different way to do the job or hand in your resignation Glenn.

  5. I’m with Yana and Lizzy. Please don’t drain the Lake! It’s too bad that a group of whiny neighbors and residents have to complain excessively about traffic, noise, dust, whatever, etc. for just about anything and everything that happens in the neighborhood. Thanks, NIMBYs!

    • I’m sorry, but I find it amazing the lack of awareness some have, to what has really gone on, and the flippant comments from Jerry here about “whiny neighbors” and “… noise, dust, whatever…”

      If you actually lived and worked from home, 11 feet from construction & equipment regularly generating over 100 dBs, you would not be so blasé about noise. People had to MOVE because of this. And “dust”? It’s not “dust” that causes health issues. It’s “Particulate Matter.” Look it up on California EPA’s website, and then come back and call people “whiny.”

      Frankly, Jerry, you really should do your research and know what you’re actually speaking about, before making really lame comments as you just did here. Or… maybe you need to live next to this — 11 feet away — for 7 months, and then come back and be blasé.

      • silverlakeresident

        I wonder if the health effects will be better if they drain the lake. The last time they drained the lake we lost our breeze (which clears the air) and the lake bed became another source of dry dust. The exposed area of land is a lot less if they break the concrete of the road- though the noise is worse and the breaking of the concrete is terrible for creating particulate matter.

        I also worry that they won’t replace the water with any kind of timeliness, so it will remain hot and dusty, and that every time there is a problem they will now need to drain the lake rather than go under ground in one spot. Just thinking about the future as well….

  6. “The trade off, however, is that residents surrounding the reservoir would be looking at an “empty hole” for about 18 months, said Silver Lake Neighborhood Council member Michael Masterson, who mentioned the new DWP proposal during Wednesday night’s meeting. “If it minimizes dust, construction, tearing up streets – I think it’s worth it,” said Masterson, who sits on a council committee focused on the reservoirs.”

    I can’t believe the reservoirs council committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is recommending this option! Have they stopped to think, with all the budget cutting happening now, that the Lake might never be refilled if it’s deemed unneccessary later since it’s being taken out of the water drinking supply system?

    • Hello. The proposal remains just that. Neither the neighborhood council or the reservoirs committee has taken a position on this idea. LADWP plans to make a presentation on the subject at a future meeting.

      • Thank god! And thanks!

        The community really needs to let DWP and the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council that we’d really rather deal with traffic and construction than an empty reservoir. At least I would. I suspect many others would be willing too.

        • Yeah? Is that what you think? Do you live a couple of doors down from the Rec Center park they suggested destroying and turning into a huge belching construction site? Do you work from home? My wife and I do. We love the reservoir and frankly looking at an empty cement hole for a year and a half will suck, since it’s a centerpiece to the neighborhood, but having the park right next to us blown apart for just as long is infinitely worse. “A few whiny neighbors”? Most importantly, building the pipe in the reservoir will move the particulate matter away from homes. I’m sure the construction will still inconvenience all of us since let’s face it, it’s EVERYWHERE, but if it’s a better health option I’m all for it. Also, that park is a treasure unto itself. More than a few personal trainers use it to have sessions with their clients, which mean their livelihoods depend on it. Think of all the kids’ soccer games that happen there on the weekends, too. I love Silver Lake but that means having love for all parts and people in it, not just one man-made body of water in the center of it whose sole purpose is to cheer you up while you do a 15-minute-mile-run around it. If that’s all you care about, then consider yourself a tourist in this area.

        • Not me. I’m not willing to deal with traffic and construction. Empty it, I say.

    • All proposals that I’ve read about include keeping the reservoir (not lake) full of water for use as an emergency water supply in case of natural or terrorism-related disaster, as well as a source to draw from for water-dropping helicopter in case of fires in the area. If drained, it won’t stay that way. It was drained a few years ago (~2007?) and was promptly refilled despite the fact that it remained out of service.

      I think the real issue is minimizing construction costs. It sounds like laying the 66″ pipe along the reservoir bed would be cheaper than breaking open the street and paying the ridiculous costs of having to re-pave and stripe it afterwards.

    • The Reservoir Complex Committee of the SLNC did not come up with this proposal. And frankly, Michael Masterson has been helpful to the community here over the egregious DWP issues, to date.

      Jerry, there was a meeting here in Silver Lake a month ago. It was announced publicly that Ron Nichols (General Manager of the whole DWP, the top man) would be attending to hear the community’s issues. Next time there’s a DWP meeting, maybe you should get off the couch and quit watching TV for a couple hours, and come. Then you can learn first hand how bad things got for residents AND business owners here. Some business owners, by the way, that are still suffering horribly. But you won’t. You’ll just criticize and snipe on comment boards, without understanding a thing.

  7. Anyone else guess that Silver Lake Neighborhood Council member Michael Masterson must live on Redesdale Ave?

    • Michael Masterson

      @lisal – They’d be guessing wrong too. I live in another part of Silver Lake not as immediately affected by this project. However, that doesn’t lessen my concerns for my neighbors’ well-being.

  8. The link below is Glenn Singley being chewed out by Silver Lake residents over the proposed pipeline through the Grassy Knoll. Him being chewed out led to the DWP changing plans and now possibly draining the reservoir.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDzvshuCbqc

    • Not really. That was a year ago. The possible change — which was the original idea in the first place — is being floated again now, because the DWP construction here in Silver Lake has been a MESS (and you can blame both them and their contractor, Steve P. Rados, Inc.), causing a multitude of problems (the least of which is “traffic”). You should do your research before you make a claim like this.

  9. What’s the big deal? It’s just a water diet.

  10. I echo Steve’s question—how much money does the DWP save ratepayers by going through the Reservoir rather than tunneling under city streets?

    • The DWP should do whichever is more cost effective. If wealthy owners of the million dollar homes around the reservoir have a problem with that, let them pay the cost difference.

    • It would likely cost them less money, than tunneling for a mile under homes. Also, there’s less risk that a sinkhole develops taking someone’s home down, or God forbid, a person with it, etc. There is a history of tunneling in Los Angeles, and then a project having to stop because it’s not stable and the tunnel has to be stabilized. Less risk all around to people and their homes.

  11. Angeleno Heightster

    Eastsider: Does the “18 month empty hole” option mean that the mature sycamores will not need to be cut down? The “Grassy Knoll” at the south end of the rez is one of the too few shady spots in the city to escape our daily sunstorm. I understood that the “tear up the roads/dusty/traffic” option meant that the park would also be torn up and most if not all of those mature trees cut down. If those are the only two options, my vote goes to saving the trees any day. 18 months will go by a lot faster than it would take to remake a shady grove. (Trust me, we’re already one year down, one year to go on the Echo Park Lake turnaround, and it’s been quite a show since the green tarp first arrived.)

    • The new alternative would mean less digging and damage to the “grassy knoll” since a large pit would not have to be excavated. In addition, the DWP is looking at moving an underground pressure regulator station to a location further away from the park area.

      • Michael Masterson

        The DWP’s original plan for this part of the project impacted heavily on the “grassy knoll” area including removal of several mature sycamore trees. Silver Lake stakeholders strongly objected to that plan for obvious reasons. In a series of public meetings held over the past year, the community asked the DWP to look at other alternatives. As a result of that dialogue, the DWP has re-envisioned the project with several options to preserve the integrity of the irreplaceable grassy knoll park.

        They recently advanced the idea of running the pipeline under the reservoir as another option. The DWP is conducting an EIR and will proceed based on those results. Once they’ve explored this alternative fully, they will meet with the community to discuss its feasibility, costs and impact. Until then, anything else is speculation.

        I encourage interested stakeholders to go to http://silverlakenc.org/ and register for news updates and future meetings on this issue. For a history of relevant public meetings and comments, please look at the minutes posted under the Reservoir Complex Committee.

  12. What happen did most of you stakeholders somehow not drag yourself away from you smart phones to attend the numerous Community meetings that have been on going since this project was announced around the lst of the year. Most of you coming in the back door complaining. Oh Pleaseeeeeee.

    • I went to a meeting a month ago where I and others spoke about the road troubles of Glendale, Waverly and Rokeby all come together. So their solution was to block it off entirely. What great problem solving by the city for those of us who live here.

      They will do what they want. Period.

    • I agree. There have been numerous public meetings, including the one with Ron Nichols last month. It’s almost shocking how ignorant the complainers here are. “You mean I won’t have the lake to look at while I jog around it for 18 months???” Give me a frickin’ break.

  13. Did they drain the Atlantic to build the Chunnel?

  14. While no final decisions have been made, there are some considerations that no one has mentioned. Is the LADWP over reacting to the Glendale Bl group and considering an option that was not addressed in the EIR under the guise of saving money and being an easier project for the community to tolerate? There will be environmental considerations that will need to be reviewed and mitigated. Among others, it will disrupt two or three nesting cycles of the Great Blue Herons and interrupt Pacific Flyway resting place for the annual migration. It may be doubly consequential because Echo Park Lake will still be empty. While the GBH came back when the water returned, would they after 18 months? If it will save money, how much? If it will be less disruptive, how so? Some savings should be spent on a feasibility study to determine how to re purpose SL/I to help the City of LA meet the storm water run off regulations and aqua-fir recharge and as a bonus keep water in the lake for all to enjoy. The thousands that use the path and the meadow park like water in the lake too.

    • Tell that to the woman who, since November, has been on an oxygen tank because her breathing got so bad from the particle pollution (i.e., Particulate Matter). She’s now on oxygen 24/7. Tell that to the parents & kids of Ivanhoe, particularly those kids who’ve had more health issues since construction began a block away, than in all the previous years.

      The Great Blue Herons is a good point you make. Where might they go? But how do you balance dozens and dozens of people’s health, with some Herons? Particle pollution is not some innocuous, innocent thing. It can cause PERMANENT, IRREPARABLE harm. To babies and to children. This is not hyperbole. Look it up.

      • She’s on oxygen from breathing dust?

        Me thinks she had some issues prior!

        • Yes, you are indeed “Clueless” as your moniker reads. It’s not “DUST,” dude. It’s PARTICULATE MATTER. Since you spend so much time on comment boards sniping, how about spending 10 minutes and read up on that?? Educate yourself. Just a little bit. Might help you in life, actually.

          • Yeah, and “second hand smoke” kills too.

            Propaganda. You loose credibility when you exaggerate.

  15. Why would it take so long if they don’t have to dig?
    Seems to me that laying a pipe down in a pre-existing hole would not require that much time to accomplish.

  16. Well, if they do drain it, I hope they open it to skateboarders. It would make an awesome skateboard park. I understand that some residents don’t want to look at a hole, but they could paint the bottom blue. It would look like a lake, kind of.

  17. Drain it, then re-fill it and make it a swimmable public lake!

  18. Consider the following impacts….

    WILDLIFE:
    The reasons the Great Blue Herons nest inside the SLR:
    1. Attraction to a body of water
    2. Seclusion
    3. Quiet
    Once drained, and with the constant presence of humans, machines, diesel fumes and the deafening noise of drilling, it is likely the Herons will be gone. For how long? This needs to be studied.

    SOIL EROSION:
    What would be the impact to soil erosion and runoff sedimentation caused by grading and excavation in a reservoir and by leaving it drained for several seasons. Rains could erode banks.

    DUST:
    Dust could be a huge problem. The SLR has soil over most of the reservoir bottom. Once this soil is dry and loosened by operations, portions of it will turn to dust.

    NOISE:
    Residents that are higher in elevation than the construction site are unlikely to be shielded from construction noise. If they drain the reservoir everyone will be higher in elevation than the site.

    Additionally the steep banks may further amplify in a ‘megaphone’ effect. The result could be that the entire neighborhood becomes the “Silver Lake Bowl” featuring one of the longest and worst concerts of all times. The noise amplification needs to be studied.

    VISUAL IMPACT:
    The Reservoir is the visual focal point of the community that surrounds it; it provides the neighborhood with a strong sense of identity by residents and visitors alike.

    Draining the reservoir will have a depressive effect not only on the residents with a view but also on walkers, joggers and drivers. Although it may not elicit much sympathy the draining of the reservoir will likely effect home sale prices and the livelihood of realtors.

    None of these impacts were studied under the current Environmental Impact Report because draining the reservoir wasn’t even an option.

    In proposing to dig at the bottom of the reservoir, the DWP is in effect punishing the community for holding them accountable to the EIR in recent community meetings. The knee jerk reaction is to retreat into their own territory where they can violate the EIR tenfold with impunity.

    DWP changes their stated positions without notice to the community. We should be vigilant of this as it will likely happen again in the future.

    A community meeting needs to be held, where all these topics will be discussed.

    • Wow, spoken like a classic NIMBY. I think the city of Beverly Hills could use your talents.

      • I think Guy actually lives on West Silver Lake Blvd, so it’s more like NIMFY. His house will face the construction or the drained reservoir, so either option will weight heavily on his lifestyle. I find his explanation of the issues to be fairly well-informed,

    • You make some very good points here. I would just say, this isn’t the DWP attempting to “punish” the community for trying to hold them accountable to the EIR. This pipeline under the reservoir was — I understand, unless I’m wrong — the original idea in the first place. But was then nixed due to some agency saying “unacceptable risk” to have a “clean pipeline” under an off-line (non-drinking) reservoir.

  19. A Different Guy

    Add some boat ramps and make it Havasu West

  20. Oh no! Noise, dust and traffic detours! You might think we live in a city! Get over yourselves and stop being selfish whiners. Be glad for the lovely gift we have here in the reservoir.

  21. DWP will never be able to make SL happy because they can’t even agree on a solution amongst themselves. The city should just do whatever is cheap and fast in order to get in and out to minimize the crying. When it comes to SL residents they’re only happy when they’re got something to complain about. Every article about SL the resident are always up in arms about everything be it noise, construction dust, traffic, water views, the junction, restaurants/bars, or dog shit you guys are a bunch of whiners.

  22. I was unaware of the health impacts of current construction, but it sounds like the trade offs of emptying the reservoir are as bad — and in the meantime, we have no commons as a community.

  23. i can’t even read through all these. you’re all aware that YOU, TOO can be a member of the neighborhood council?! whiny neighbors, unite! talk this out face to face instead of hiding behind your computers, because problems don’t get solved on MESSAGE BOARD COMMENT SECTIONS. I couldn’t care less either way. I’ll still find a way to get to gelson’s, the weed store, and the dog park.

  24. Bravo DWP!!! This is the best news I have heard in a year — after attending nearly all of the Silverlake Community meetings concerning the DWP water project. This recent decision has resolved nearly every issue with the least amount of social impact.
    My neighbors will not have to suffer cracked windows, foundations, and walls in their homes.
    A definitely mitigated amount of unhealthy particulate matter we would breathe in the air during our hottest months –the elderly, very young not to mention helpless “pets” can take a deep breath, sit on their porches, soak up the sun on the window sill (cats!).
    Noise levels will be less – the ambient sound of birds can be heard again.
    Each morning will not have to begin in a traffic que!
    The days end will not be punctuated by another “traffic jam”.
    We will be able to walk the reservoir path as we view the progress with little or no re-direction (via signs, dangerous paths, fenced off parts of the Grassy Knoll & other sections).
    NO TREES WILL BE KILLED!!! These beautiful stewards will be left un-interrupted to their helpful natures – ‘cleaning carbon levels’ for us all!
    Moving the site will corral all the pipes, trucks, the workman’s trucks, digging, drilling equipment, dirt transport (maybe this won’t have to be trucked anywhere!) look at all the $ LA saves!
    I even wonder if the project could finish sooner than expected with such uncomplicated access to the reservoir basin!
    Gosh, I sure hope so…

  25. Hi all,
    I am a fellow Silver Lake Reservoir jogger and a resident of the area.
    This is incredibly important and positive news. Although I can understand that some people are distressed that the reservoir will once again be emptied, it is a temporary and necessary step. The reservoir has been emptied several times in the past. We all love the view of the lake as we drive, walk, or run around it, and thanks to the Conservancy’s good work, we will always have this beautiful Lake.
    Those who are opposed to this temporary inconvenience have no idea what has been going on with this project. The DWP had no idea of the impact this construction was going to have on residents as they tore through neighborhoods and dug through concrete 70 feet to 100 feet down. (I was out to some of the sites of construction and could not even see the bottom of these pits!!) People have been getting sick, pets have died, and residents who worked from home have had to simply pack up and move. Damage to homes from the vibrations is also documented (Yikes)!! Several businesses have gone under too.
    I don’t think the joggers realize that they would not even want to jog around the lake if this kind of construction were going on. With this new plan, there will be far less impact on the neighborhood. We won’t have a view of the water, but we will still be able to jog around the lake in good health. (Note: There is plenty of beauty to see besides the Lake in this area.)
    Things were so out of control that the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Reservoir Complex Committee held an emergency meeting on May 26 with Ron Nichols, the head of the DWP. I don’t think there really was any other alternative for the DWP. You can’t just allow people to get sick because a project is moving forward. I don’t really understand how anybody could be concerned about this new move. It is better for EVERYONE. I am guessing that those with other opinions have not been keeping up with all the news about the construction or they would be relieved that the DWP has come up with a safe and sensible plan.
    Lastly, I don’t think the construction was going to be feasible from a technical aspect the way it was planned. The DWP didn’t know about all the massive equipment that would have to be brought in, and I think they realized all the vehicles and equipment wouldn’t even be able to fit on the streets as planned.
    P.S. This new plan is going to save the Los Angeles taxpayers millions of dollars.
    Your friend and neighbor, TL

  26. Please note that the Silver Lake Reservoir Conservancy does not represent the community, they are a private corp. not open or welcoming to the community at large. Their governing members rarely attended open Public meeting set up by the Silver Lake Neighborhood Counsel Reservoir Community.
    They refrain from voting at these public meetings on motions and present themselves as the go to group regarding all things about the Reservoir.
    This organization is not open to the public and their meetings are held in secret, with no input beside their own members with their own agendas.
    Our community needs to be asking the SLRC members what their secret master plan for the Reservoir complex, and why feel they speak for us.

    • OK Stakeholder #1, now I’m really angry. You hide behind that name, but I know who you are. You are on the current Board of the SL Neighborhood Council. SL Neighborhood Council one of the most dysfunctional, ineffective and obstructionist organization I have ever witnessed.

      You have decided to attack one of the most productive, thoughtful, resourceful and community-sensitive organization that has ever existed in Silver Lake.

      All that Freud Sat Nam said is barely a fraction of what the Reservoirs Conservancy has done to better the community…all with extensive community input. Over the years, they have conducted numerous surveys which have been very informative. Check out the latest (www.SilverLakeReservoirs.org). Those surveys have consistently worked out to be 10%: Do nothing; 10% Do everything; 80% continue on the slow but steady opening of the reservoir for community access.

      Over the years, the Reservoirs Conservancy has also hosted numerous community meetings where the attendance at each has been in the hundreds….for a total of thousands. Opinions were given and have been the guide for setting the course of the Reservoirs Conservancy. Any decision about an action has been a consensus and has reflected what the community wants and needs. It has no “Agenda”. There are no developers guiding the course for condos on the Reservoir property. To the best of my observation, anyone with a single agenda gets frustrated about consensus and leaves.

      And, what has the Neighborhood Council done about the Reservoir issues for the last 10 years of their existence? Delayed the Meadow opening by at least 2 years which meant the money evaporated, the original plan was replaced with many fewer amenities and a smaller park. Delayed the Tesla boardwalk by at least 2 years and, while the current plan is a better design, the cost has at least trebled. Objected to the installation of the pedestrian traffic signal on SL Bl and continued to object even though it has surely saved lives. And, when both Councilmembers LaBonge and Garcetti generously dedicated funds to the maintenance of the path and asked the Neighborhood Council to match the donation by the Reservoirs Conservancy, the Neighborhood Council declined to support one of the most popular amenities in the community. Used by thousands weekly. And so it goes, the Neighborhood Council continues to whine about what gets done by others while they just say no. Certainly a request from the Councilmembers should have been given an enthusiastic yes. Why should our Councilmembers work so hard for the community when the Neighborhood Council so rudely dished them.

      It is so sad that in a neighborhood that is so energy filled, that a few who are so destructive have taken over the Neighborhood Council. It drives the productive and progressive people away and the obstructionists continue to rule. With all the work that needs to be done to insure a productive future for the Reservoirs, they spend their time attacking the people that are actually getting things done.

      Oh, and by the way. Yes, the Reservoirs Conservancy is a 501c3 private corporation. That is the way it was set up in 1988 and it has served this community very well. It has been my experience that anyone with a reservoir issue to discuss has been welcome to attend.

  27. Oh, goodness.  Here we go again.  Okay, Stakeholder #1, I’ll bite.  Let’s look at records.
     
    The Conservancy has been around since 1988.  What have they accomplished?  They prevented the Reservoirs from being covered up and turned into a treatment facility.  They pushed for a master plan that included preservation of the natural beauty of the Reservoirs while also opening up public spaces that allowed the community access to that beauty.  This resulted in the creation of the walking paths around the perimeter, the opening of the Meadow, the crosswalk into the Meadow, and, now, the completion of the Tesla path.  The Conservancy has helped make the Reservoir and its spaces even more beloved and probably the most used neighborhood amenities.  Their agenda remains the same.
     
    In direct opposition to the work of the Conservancy was an ANTI-PUBLIC SPACE group called “Silver Lake Friends and Neighbors”, which became “Save the Meadow”.  This group opposed the creation of the walking paths and the opening of the Meadow to the public.  They cited the usual things:  traffic, parking, wildlife, plant life, overspending, danger, you name it.  When it was clear that their efforts were failing, they recommended making the Meadow a private park, with limited access, controlled by nearby residents.  Architecture Critic for the LA Times, Christopher Hawthorne, wrote about them in an article in which he said Silver Lake displayed the “new face of NIMBYism”, opposition to public space.  Silver Lake was famous!  You can Google the article.  Luckily for Silver Lake, the Conservancy and the community thwarted this group’s attempts to keep these spaces from opening.
     
    During the planning meetings with the landscape architects for the Meadow, the anti-public-space folks always attended and feigned cooperation, but objected to things like the proposed plant list, citing “endangered juniper” and “I’m allergic to that”.
     
    Obstruction, delay, and ruining it for everybody was their goal.
     
    What happened to the anti-public-space group once the Meadow opened?  One can only guess.
     
    Immediately after the Meadow was opened to the public, the Reservoir Complex Committee of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council was formed.  What were some of the first things on their agenda?
    -        Pushing for allowing dogs into the Meadow, even though the community overwhelmingly opposed it;
    -        Opposition to parking in the small lot adjacent to the Meadow before safe access in the form of a crosswalk was completed;
    -        Gathering a crowd to consider work in the grassy knoll and saving the sycamores, then suggesting to that crowd that perhaps yoga in the Meadow was bad for the community.
    And when the Conservancy and both Silver Lake City Councilmen’s Offices committed to donating money for the maintenance of the walking paths, arguably the most popular and most used amenity in Silver Lake, certain elements of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council quashed a motion to contribute monies to this work from the Neighborhood Council’s funds.  The good work of the reasonable and well meaning voices on the Neighborhood Council was overshadowed again by these Tea-Party-like elements in their group.
     
    To this day, the anti-public-space people have a vicious and unrelenting disdain for the Conservancy.  They also will never forgive DWP and the City Councilmen’s offices for allowing the public spaces to be opened.  They align themselves with any residents that oppose these groups for any reason, legitimate or not.
     
    Thus, the rhetoric and untruths that the Conservancy is a private corporation with evil plans to sell off the Reservoir to private developers, that they are unwilling to work with anyone in the community.  The anti-public-space folks have tried to infiltrate the Conservancy to stop its work and to undo what it has accomplished; thwarting these attempts is what the anti-public space folks claim is an unwillingness to work with the community.  Conservancy members attend lots of community meetings, and often they are met with hostility, name calling, and passive aggressiveness from the anti-public space people.
     
    So, yes, ask what is the agenda of the Conservancy?  If you enjoy walking and running on the paths, relaxing in the Meadow and soaking up the sun and breeze alone or with your friends, then you are living that agenda.  Let’s hope for more to come.  Luckily for Silver Lake, their agenda has become realities that benefit the community.  And luckily for Silver Lake, the agenda of the anti-public-space people remain mostly just opinions most of Silver Lake don’t agree with.

    Thanks for asking, Stakeholder #1.

    And, of course, this is all just my opinion.

    • Dear:

      Freud Sat Nam

      You’re wrong. The save the meadow folks, in opposition, ONLY wanted to design desert gardens/food growing and a resource for learning in conjunction with neighboring schools, to respect Earth. How much water’s used to green the lawn, stud! Where’s the coyotes?

      I look in retrospect and how ugly your side was as to paint us as racist or NIMBY’s. Your right up there with Lee Atwater! You’re the very lazy, white, liberal scum that wouldn’t even set foot in Griffith or Elysian. It’s just too far your entitled minded. It’s ALL about you!

      What a waste to worry jogging well into the dark/crime or that a coyote would take a bite out of your a**. Step down from the Highlands, douche.

      Here’s hoping?

      PS

      Maybe master MIA can give back some of her fee? 300K?

      Strange bedfellows?

      • Your comments really capture the spirit of your groups.
         
        Your groups’ record is disheartening, isn’t it?  So, all you can do is return to the same anti-public-space  rhetoric, name-calling, and allegations of corruption and scandal where there are none; that is your reputation.  You created it, your ideas and actions enforce and advertise it, and you’re surprised when you’re reminded of your lack of credibility when you can’t accomplish anything.  You’ve labeled yourselves.  Take responsibility for that.
         
        What you wanted was a garden?  If the community knew of ALL of the despicable tactics you tried to deny public access to the Reservoir’s spaces and to ruin the experience now that those spaces have opened, they would be outraged.
         
        Luckily for Silver Lake, you have failed.  The community has won.
         
        And of course, this is all just my opinion.

  28. Well said, Freud! Thank you for pointing out that dedicated citizens often band together to make their communities better places. It goes all the way back to Toqueville’s era.

    Stakeholder #1—you’re just still pissed off because you lost and the community won. Spew your bulls**t bile at the NC meeting where for some strange reason, people put up with your crap.

  29. Stakeholder #1 is pretty darn entertaining. Let’s get some facts straight about the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy –

    The Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy was established in 1988 (as the Committee to Save Silver Lake’s Reservoirs) in response to the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power’s proposed water quality projects at the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex.

    SLRC joined with the Silver Lake Residents Association (SLRA) and 10 other reservoir communities to create the Coalition to Preserve Open Reservoirs (CPOR).

    CPOR continues to participate in a formal mediation process with the LADWP to meet the more stringent State and Federal water quality goals while maintaining or improving the quality of life in reservoir communities.

    Their Mission: The Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy (SLRC) is an all-volunteer, non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving and enhancing the historical, aesthetic, ecological and recreational benefits of Silver Lake’s open waters and surrounding open space. SLRC works to reflect community preferences regarding the property and advocates accordingly. While the reservoirs are part of the city water supply system, the SLRC will provide education about water quality, projects, and their impacts on the community. SLRC’s vision is to facilitate the transition of decommissioned reservoir property and to explore new opportunities regarding open space, education, recreation, watershed, wildlife, native plants, natural habitats and land use once the reservoirs go off line.

    Silver Lake Master Plan: A major milestone of the mediation process was the completion of the Silver Lake Master Plan, issued in November 1, 2000. The Master Plan, funded by LADWP, was the end result of multiple community workshops presented by landscape architects Mia Leher & Associates, LADWP, SLRC, and SLRA. It continues to serve as a long-range planning tool for improvements to the Reservoir Complex, including water quality, landscaping, recreation, pedestrian and traffic safety, as well as funding and implementation.

    SLRC is a 501(c)(3) organization.
    http://www.silverlakeresevoirs.org

    And finally, in response to Stakeholder #1′s statement; “Our community needs to be asking the SLRC members what their secret master plan for the Reservoir complex, and why feel they speak for us.”
    Perhaps the community should be asking; “What kind of agenda does the SLNC Reservoirs Complex Committee have and why they feel they speak for us?

  30. Thank God someone is finally speaking up for the Conservancy! It’s hard to imagine what our neighborhood would be like without the hard work these people have done to preserve our Reservoirs (that’s right, OUR Reservoirs! They belong to US!) and make them the center of a healthy, active community. Speaking of that, the running path maintenance, which the earlier poster noted the Neighborhood Council refused to help maintain: the Conservancy has contributed funds towards maintenance.

    When will the Neighborhood Council decides to put its money ($40,000 a year) to help with Reservoir projects that are essential to everyone, rather than raw obstructionist tactics?

  31. Bloody silverlake idiots. El batmanuel had it right. You’ll bitch and moan until the cows come home. Let DWP do their job, and be done with it in 18 months. Cry me a river about not wanting to see an empty reservoir. The city needs to do it. You selfish cunts are concerned about not seeing the scenic view you paid for. I get that. But I also get that this is a city. You are part of Los Angeles. The needs of the city come before your desire as a selfish overpaid asshole bemoaning noise and a pretty view. No one was on my side when the city had to dig up Alvarado for a year or so. But when it’s Silverlake, we HAVE to listen. Because you’re in the top 2% tax bracket. And yes, you are NIMBY-ists. When something happens anywhere else you could give a damn, even if it’s the community next door. But god help undesirable elements come into your neighborhood because it might inconvenience your lives.

    And yes, a water treatment plant might have been worth it. We live in a desert. We depend on water. If norcal shuts out out, you know we’re in deep dog shat.

  32. Observing the wealthy fight the wealthy is always amusing.
    Who knows what will go on behind closed doors to get to a final decision?

    Im in the area (Echo Park) and looking at a giant stinking construction site that used to be a really nice park. The echo park construction should not be taking 2 years. Many many days, nothing is happening at the site. I suspect the same will happen on this job.
    All this proves is that the government is not actually broke.

  33. It always amazes me what LA residents consider “really nice”. “Our Focal Point” A giant, concreted pit so contaminated at one time with cancer causing bromide, they had to fill it with plastic balls. This isn’t a wetland area or even a recreational park. This is Los Angeles…..The DWP isn’t going to listen to residents anyway. After all, they drained the entire Owens valley which used to be the largest lake in California.

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