Save LA River Open Space is an all volunteer, nonprofit group of your neighbors fighting to preserve the historic Weddington Golf and Tennis site in Studio City from condominium development. Our long term goal is to make this precious Open Space part of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Project.
Our nonprofit (501c3) organization, Save LA River Open Space (SLAROS) is dedicated to preserving the last significant Los Angeles river-fronting open space in the San Fernando Valley. Our nonprofit corporation was formally established in 2004 subsequent to a proposed rezoning and development of the 16 acre Weddington Golf and Tennis property in Studio City as was first proposed in May 2000. To date we have been successful but now face an imminent challenge as on July 31, 2014, the City Planning published the owners’ Draft Environmental Impact Report(DEIR) which initiate a 60 day public comment period.
The strategy for seeking a green-friendly alternative to the dense condominium project is driven by recent surveys that indicate wide support to keep the property as publically-accessible, recreational Open Space. To achieve this goal, we must first find funding for the purchase and preservation of the property. Thereafter, we will work to create the L.A. River Natural Park on the site, which would tie the property into the existing Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan while at the same time preserve vital community recreational facilities.
Ironically, the improving economy presents both opportunity and risk. While funding for the eventual purchase of the land is more promising in the improving environment, the real estate market has also rebounded and we understand there is more activity around the sale of the property than we have seen in recent years.
Simultaneously there is emerging understanding and appreciation both within government and the community at large of the value of a unique public space that provides an outdoor educational site, recreational space, and biological treatment of the polluted water runoff from adjacent neighborhoods that we envision in the eventual phase of the project. This growing appreciation of the benefits and the clarification of municipal responsibility to provide such remediation make us optimistic long term. We have many volunteers and supporters, but we can’t do it all with volunteers. There is the need for donations and grants to handle some elements, particularly those outside of the scope of our volunteers in skill or time required for stewardship. Therefore we are continuously fundraising.
This is an exciting time for SLAROS. While the challenges before us to preserve the Open Space and prevent the continued encroachment of density and development are real, we have an able team of volunteers who are communicating a clear and popular message to a willing and influential community. As an organization, we have boldly undertaken a lengthy community appraisal and self-examination to make sure we are on task and best structured to secure our goals. We appreciate our numerous supporters and contributors who have stayed with us through the years. Our work continues.