Thursday, October 20, 2016

Will Atwater maintenance yard become a new riverside park?

ATWATER VILLAGE — It’s a prime chunk of real estate in the far north end of Atwater Village: nearly 25-acres of land that stretches along the eastern bank of the L.A. River with views of Griffith Park on the other side of the channel. Park and river advocates have long eyed the parcel — which serves as the home for the Recreation and Parks Department Central Service Yard — as one that could be transformed into an attractive riverside park. Previous efforts to turn all or part of the city-owned maintenance and storage facility into parkland, however, have gone nowhere. But, today, the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and River Committee is scheduled to take up the most recent effort to carve public open space out of the city yard.

A motion by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell proposes that the city look for ways to shrink the size of the yard and develop the rest as parkland:

The City should ensure that the current uses of the CSY are aligned with the modern day needs of the [Recreation and Parks] Department. The time is ripe for exploring alternative uses and development opportunities for this site …. This effort would revitalize an underutilized area adjacent to the Los Angeles River and provide much needed open space.

The proposal, if adopted by the City Council, would direct the different city agencies to look at the feasibility and cost of converting the land for park use while meeting the needs of the Recreation and Parks Department.

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  1. It’s about time! I toured this property with R&P & a group of park advocates some years ago. It’s mostly acres & acres of empty parking lots. It’s such a waste of space. However I believe a big concern is access through the residential neighborhood with narrow streets and limited parking.

  2. I agree. It’s about time. That site is massive and barely used.

  3. Why not use some of this land for baseball area, and other sports, instead of disturbing Crystal Springs picnic ground?

  4. Given the history of the river and its longstanding usage as an industrial wasteland, it’s no surprise that Rec & Park has used this location for as long as it has, and in such a wasteful manner. This is a long-overdue change – that land is very important to the river ecosystem and right now mostly just serves as a large surface parking lot, some of which goes unutilized. It’d be shameful for Rec & Park, the ostensible guardians of public space in Los Angeles, to put up barriers to allowing some portion of this land to be converted into a use more suitable to its location and more beneficial to the surrounding community. Certainly R&P has functional needs, but these needs should be able to met through a collaborative process that ultimately has at its utmost goal the intention of returning some of this land to the community.

  5. Arts, parks, health, aging, and river are one committee? What a combo!

  6. While the proposal is very interesting, many don’t know that this property abuts the joint Los Angeles-Glendale water treatment facility. Especially during the day and in warm weather, noxious odors drift across the area, making it highly unsuited for adjacent parkland activities. What are the proposals to mitigate this? Will the treatment plant be moved? Capped? The City cannot develop one and ignore the other.

    • I think the real idea is to make it a bit more of a wetland that isn’t necessarily a specific attraction for humans, but can help restore the river ecosystem, and also absorb floodwater to mitigate the effects of removing the concrete from the riverbed.

      • The renderings I’ve seen in the past are for meandering paths and spots for relaxation and recreation, not wetlands. And talk was to make it “the city’s next ‘great urban park’ by combining a portion of maintenance yard on the east bank of the Los Angeles River with North Atwater Park and the restored creek bed.” If the proposal has changed, I’m sure the community would be very interested in hearing the details; the Atwater Village Neighborhood Council is amenable to guest speakers at their monthly board meetings (atwatervillage.org).

  7. I urge the Eastsider to look into the newly revised motion that came out of the committee meeting. Councilman O’ferrell made an amendment that opens the door for more than what we may want and need in north Atwater

  8. Theres a reason previous efforts have gone nowhere…. You people must not know about “Rio De Los Angeles” the giant 4 soccer field park and 2 baseball diamond plus marshland park area just a few blocks south on the same street.

    Rio de Los Angeles State Park, North San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA

    Its barely used as is, and mostly for sports games thats about it. Despite there being a system of wildlife trails and whatnot in the marshland next to the river. I’m all for more parks and wildlife, but can’t see the city ponying up for another park alongside the river, when one is already costing them money down the street,

    • “Just a few blocks south on the same street” is misleading. To clarify, Rio de Los Angeles (formerly known as Taylor Yard) is in Glassell Park, about 4 miles south of this proposed location. But that location IS better suited to heavy traffic to and from the park, while the proposed location travels through a residential neighborhood that would suffer from a heavy increase in traffic.

  9. I think they should first clean up that area from GANGS then think abouth parks!!! Bicouse that park its gonna be GANGS hang outh place and people’s NOT gonna be SAFE !!!!!!!? Every day its gun shuts and ghang activities going on that area !!!!!!

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