Los Feliz -- Councilman David Ryu wants to study the feasibility of opening the nearly 10-acre Rowena Reservoir property for "passive recreation," according to a proposal he introduced last week.
Hidden behind dense greenery, berms and encircled by a tall green fence, the 10-million gallon reservoir at Rowena and Hyperion avenues is buried underground and topped by park-like grounds with decorative lagoons, waterfalls, palm trees and walking paths.
Some residents have over the years proposed opening the property as a park or green space.
But the L.A. Department of Water and Power, which manages the reservoir, have long resisted, saying that high-voltage electrical and other equipment related to the reservoir tank poses a hazard to those who wander nearby.
But there has been growing interest in opening up the property to the public.
A survey of 230 residents by the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council found that 84% of those who live within one mile of the reservoir “support a lot” the idea of opening the property during daylight hours. However, that level of support dropped to 60% among those who lived within half mile of the reservoir. Meanwhile, 30% of those who lived nearby opposed the idea.
If the City Council adopts Ryu's proposal, the LADWP, the Department of Recreation and Parks and other city offices would be directed to conduct a feasibility study and determine how much it would cost to open up the Rowena Reservoir property to the public.
"Public access to the Complex is currently not permitted since it is vital to providing safe
and reliable drinking water," says Ryu's proposal. "In order to open this site for use by the public, certain improvements may need to be made to protect the water source and also visitors to the site."