Frequently Asked Questions
Updated July 12, 2011
|What is the process for preserving this area as open space?
While this area has always served specific recreational needs, the non-profit organization, Save LA River Open Space, has recognized the regional significance of the site and its potential for even broader benefits to the community and, in fact, the entire San Fernando Valley. Given its proximity to the Los Angeles River, this beautiful 16-acre space has the potential to improve water quality by halting pollutants from entering the LA River, provide better access to the Los Angeles River Greenway, restore native habitats and preserve recreational uses. Those benefits are reflected in the Save LA River Open Space concept for the introduction of the Los Angeles River Natural Park Vision/Concept. This concept is currently undergoing a feasibility study. This Los Angeles River Natural Park Vision/Concept provides the community with a powerful no-development alternative. Save LA River Open Space continues to press forward with its plans to preserve this area as desperately needed open space. Members of the community are encouraged to join the organization's efforts in five specific ways:
- Get Updated Directly: Ensure that Save LA River Open Space has your complete contact information, including your name, address, best phone number and email address.
- Join Our Committee of Dedicated Volunteers: Be a part of the future of this region by lending a hand at events, promotions.
- Donate Any Amount, Large or Small: Your tax-deductible contributions support efforts to further investigate and refine our concept for Los Angeles River Natural Park as well as our work to educate the community and other prospective supporters about our goals. Visit our web site at ww.SaveLARiverOpenSpace.org to make an online donation. Or mail a check, payable to Save LA River Open Space, to: Save LA River Open Space, P.O.Box 1374, Studio City, CA 91614.
- Become an Ambassador for a No-Development Alternative: Learn more about our vision for Los Angeles River Natural Park and be sure to participate in future community meetings regarding the progress of any proposed development and this alternate vision to preserve open space.
- Join the Studio City Residents Association (SCRA): Visit www.studiocityresidents.org and become a member so you will be sure to receive updates about our organization and our progress in the SCRA newsletter.
| What will it take to ensure the property is not developed as proposed?
Save LA River Open Space continues to aggressively pursue an alternative to any proposed development at Weddington Golf & Tennis. Thus far, the project’s design and feasibility study have been funded by donors in the community, including individuals and organizations that support the idea this site must be preserved as open space. This concept has far-reaching and powerful benefits to the community, to the Los Angeles River, to the environment and the ability to restore native habitats and the opportunity to contribute directly to water quality improvements. It is our goal to continue to educate the community and as many potential supporters as we can about the upside of preserving this area as open space. Any development proposal will have to go through a process that not only looks at the environmental impact of building on the property but at the legal ability for the developer to build there, including the need for a zoning change from agricultural to commercial. That process includes multiple steps that would include a City Council vote, a possibility for a mayoral override and the opportunity for the developer to pursue legal filings to secure the zone change. Save LA River Open Space continues to monitor any movement made by the owners and will ensure the community has updated information and the opportunity to weigh in during community meetings and other hearings. Be sure to provide us with your complete contact information so we can keep you informed. See our “Take Action” page
for more information about how you can get involved in the fight.
| Have you contacted the owners about purchasing the property?
A most important issue is that we are exploring financing, both public and private, to procure this property. At no time have we encouraged or entertained any other means of securing this property. Until financing is in place we have nothing tangible to offer the owners. The LA River Park, as proposed, offers a best use scenario for the future of this property and the larger LA community. We are pleased to bring this vision to the community and look forward to working on this with the owners.
| Who is funding this effort?
The project is currently being considered for state Proposition O funds, which would be used to purchase the property. Work on the Save LA River Open Space concept is being supported by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Studio City Residents Association; the US Tennis Association, the Studio City Neighborhood Council; and private donations. Save LA River Space appreciates support from concerned members of the community. All donations are tax deductible and support efforts to further investigate and refine our concept for Los Angeles River Natural Park as well as our work to educate the community and other prospective supporters about our goals.
Will this park create more traffic challenges in the community?
One of the goals of the Save LA River Open Space no-development alternative plan is to help further develop access for the region to the Los Angeles River Greenway. This area is a prime location for that access, not only because it is immediately adjacent to the Los Angeles River and can connect to the 51-mile Los Angeles River Greenway and other river parks and trails, but because it is very close to both public parking and public transportation. In fact, there is a 391-space public parking garage 500 yards from the site right along the Los Angeles River. Public transit flows up and down both Whitsett Avenue, on the east end of the property, and along Ventura Blvd., immediately south, among other major thoroughfares.
| Will golf and tennis still be incorporated in the park?
The current Save LA River Open Space concept includes 12 tennis courts, a driving range, golf practice area, and a putting green.
| But why is there no golf course?
The choice is a simple one: open space or condos. Unfortunately, there is not room to have the LA River Natural Park, the tennis courts, the driving range, and the golf course. The river friendly park is the key to obtaining funding from the state, federal, county and city governments in their efforts to clean the water before it goes into the L.A. River. The tennis courts and driving range produce the most income, which will help sustain and maintain the property. The SLAROS concept, makes a no-development alternative possible.
| Where do our elected officials stand with this effort?
Our L.A. River Natural Park concept is highly supported by our City Councilmember, Councilmember Paul Krekorian, and our State Senator, Senator Fran Pavley. Since both the County and the City are eager to implement plans to clean up the water, called for in the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan developed for the City of Los Angeles and in the Los Angeles County LA River Master Plan, we expect both the City and County will back the benefits derived from creating Los Angeles River Natural Park on this site.
| Why did the organization change its name from Save Studio City Golf & Tennis to Save LA River Open Space?
As we learned more about the prospects of preserving this area as open space, and the broader benefits to that effort – from water quality and the return of natural habitats to regional access to the Los Angeles River Greenway and the preservation of the recreational uses of the space – it made sense to broaden our plan. We changed our name to reinforce our focus on the regional significance of the area.
| Is it true the organization changed its name because the proposed plan will no longer preserve the golf and tennis recreational aspects of the site?
The Save LA River Open Space plan includes 12 tennis courts and golf practice elements, including the highly-popular driving range and putting green. The name change is purely related to the broadening of the goals and focus of our organization and the regional significance of this space. Not only does preserving this area as open space fit into the plans outlined in the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan by the City of Los Angeles and the L.A. County Los Angeles River Master Plan, its various uses as described in the Save LA River Open Space plan help meet regional water quality improvement goals.
| How does the L.A. River affect our environment? Water usage?
While the Save LA River Open Space plan aims to keep the traditional recreational uses of the site, the regional impact of the area is its proximity and relationship to the Los Angeles River. The creation of Los Angeles River Natural Park Vision/Concept, proposed by Save LA River Open Space, includes a means to upgrade the contributions this open space can make to capturing storm water and storing it for re-use as well as creating a means to treat polluted water, with the goal of improving water quality in the River and coastal waters.
| How can this area transition to have regional impact without losing the integrity of the role it has played in the local community?
The most viable approach to halting any development proposed for this site is to have a no-development alternative. The concept proposed by Save LA River Open Space addresses the community's first priority – preserving this area as open space – in a way that ensures the preservation of its historical recreational uses, while maximizing its environmental benefits to the region.