31 Jan Casitas Lofts Draft environmental Impact Report Released – Here’s what to expect next
Yesterday, Jan 30th, 2020, the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the private luxury loft development known as Casitas Lofts was released to the public. FoLAR has stood arm in arm with community voices and other advocacy organizations to express the urgent need for this proposed development to adapt to both the existing neighborhood and anticipate future River restoration. You can view the lengthy DEIR document on the City’s planning department online here. Our immediate next step is already underway – we’ve submitted a request for an extension of the comment window period on this project to be extended from 30 days to 90 days, and will keep you informed.
Statement from FoLAR CEO Marissa Christiansen:
We are aware of the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report for Casitas Lofts tomorrow, Jan 30th, and continue to monitor the progress of this proposal as a coalition of advocates and attorneys ready to stand for what’s right for local community and the LA River.
The fact that the Casitas Lofts project description does not show any change in affordable units offered, and that this was a major concern that the developers heard from the community, does not bode well for the project being substantially changed in any of the numerous ways that are important to this coalition.
Our next step is to petition for an extension of the comment window, underway now, which will allow the community to fully engage with the environmental impacts of this proposed development. We remain heartily involved and will continue to emphasize the importance of this site in realizing the fullest extent of ecological restoration on the LA River. To that end, will be hosting a large event to increase community engagement in the coming weeks.
The coalition opposed to this development (as proposed) has actively built public awareness around this project for months, including garnering media attention to this process. Notably, the Los Angeles Times asked, “Can Los Angeles blend new housing with river restoration? This is the first big test“, and an article detailing the proposal and community push back. FoLAR, along with our community partners, hosted a workshop in October to address the scale and impacts of the project (more reading available on our blog); and our partners at NRDC have been vocal, recently publishing, “Three Reasons Why the Casitas Lofts Project is a Bad Idea.”