Saturday, July 30, 2005

Griffith Observed

The 2005 master plan for Griffith Park (view it here) is now open for public comment -- and detractors of the proposal are urging residents to voice their objections.

I haven't studied enough of the master plan draft to say for sure where we lie, but in an email the group Valley VOTE sent to its members, there may be cause for concern. The email's subject line -- "PAVING PARADISE" -- will give you an idea where they fall on the issue.

Here's their take (edited for space):

Despite widespread community input in favor of preserving Griffith Park as a unique natural resource for the citizens of Los Angeles, the current Griffith Park Master Plan, now in draft form, promotes its intensive development and commercialization. Only 18 of its more than 160 pages deal with its natural features, while 108 pages, (2/3 of the draft) are devoted to expanding and adding new man made features and hardscape. Among its recommendations:

1. Six new multi-level parking structures

While the draft proposes that they be subterranean facilities topped with green to preserve the Park's natural and open areas, it also recommends that they be surfaced with sport courts, athletic facilities, offices and meeting spaces.

2. Two aerial tramways

Although proposed as transportation solutions, the draft calls these fee-based aerial tramways "fun rides" and "unique sightseeing experience(s)." They are portrayed as solutions to parking shortages at their destinations, but the draft itself admits that they will merely shift congestion to their departure points.

3. A hotel, restaurant, culinary school and sports complex in the Park's interior

The aerial tramway to nowhere described above, would have a destination if any these proposals were implemented. They would also introduce development into the core of the Park in an area with a closed landfill that is currently scheduled to be returned to nature and reforested with native plants. All of the recommendations for development are purposely vague and ambiguous.

Other disturbing recommendations in the draft:

Street-widenings throughout the Park; the introduction of traffic into the undeveloped interior of the Park; division of the Park into separate themed "lands"; redesign of the 18-hole golf course at the expense of the Zoo Magnet School; a commercial pier on the Los Angeles River at the Los Feliz Bridge; additional public-private partnerships and revenue-enhancing schemes.

The group suggests interested parties read the plan at, write their L.A. city councilmember, and contact the Los Feliz Improvement Association for more info.

If anyone has info promoting the proposal, feel free to write here too.

(Griffith Park entrance photo credit: Wikipedia.)

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