27 Dec City of Los Angeles To Vote on Purchase of G2 Parcel
The G2 parcel has been called the “crown jewel” of Los Angeles River restoration movement, and the City of Los Angeles has long been vying to purchase this private property to increase public open space and native habitat on the Los Angeles River. The 41-acre G2 parcel, formerly part of a Southern Pacific Railroad switching yard, has tremendous potential to become a landmark of Los Angeles River restoration. FoLAR has been advocating for acquisition of the G2 parcel for years, from drafting our Taylor Yard Multi-Use Study restoration alternatives back in 1993, writing letters of support, and asking people to tell the Los Angeles City Council to purchase the G2 parcel.
On September 26th, the City’s Arts, Parks, and River Committee voted to enter escrow on the G2 parcel. The City of Los Angeles’ Budget & Finance Committee will now consider closing escrow on the G2 Parcel in mid-January, 2017. Approval by the Budget & Finance Committee is a crucial step in securing full Council approval to close escrow and acquire the property for restoration. That vote is coming soon and once again, we will ask the River community to support this historic moment in River restoration.
The $59.3 million acquisition of the G2 parcel would complete the connection of Rio de Los Angeles State Park to the Los Angeles River, restoring heavy industrial lands to a more natural state of marshland floodplains with habitat for sensitive native species. Acquisition of this parcel must occur now, as the agreed upon purchase price will likely not be honored again, nor is the City likely to attempt acquisition once more should they be thwarted in this round. With a $25M purchase contribution from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the recent passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), the River’s financial stars are as aligned as they will ever be to not only purchase the land, but to actually implement the vision set forth for G2 in ARBOR’s Alternative 20.
The envisioned connectivity of the State Park to the Los Angeles River would honor the park’s namesake by augmenting public access to the Los Angeles River on its East Bank, running parallel to the existing Los Angeles River Greenway. The acquisition of the G2 parcel promises the implementation of much needed stormwater infrastructure to help mitigate against significant flood risk in the Glendale Narrows following recent flood risk map updates by the US Army Corps of Engineers.
“The project consists of implementation of best management practices (BMPs) as part of water quality improvements including placing hydrodynamic separators at stormwater inlets points; diversion and treatment of all dry weather and a portion of wet weather flows; construction of treatment wetlands; and creation of parkland, and open space.”
If approved by the Council, the City’s acquisition of the G2 parcel would represent its first major land acquisition initiative towards Los Angeles River restoration as proposed in the ARBOR project’s Alternative 20 plan and the City’s 2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan. The recent passage of WRDA has secured $375.8 million for ARBOR project, the full extent of federal funding for the 11.5 mile Los Angeles River revitalization project. The ARBOR project is an ongoing collaboration between the US Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Los Angeles, and other partners that is likely to receive significant state funding in time to come. In their 2015 The pLAn, the City of Los Angeles announced their intention to either “[c]omplete or initiate” the ARBOR project by 2035.
Acquisition of the G2 parcel is a one-time opportunity enthusiastically presenting itself to the people of Los Angeles. Help support the Los Angeles River by standing for G2 and stay tuned with FoLAR as we keep you updated on how to keep fighting the good fight for the LA River.