To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
– Anatole France

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

City Begins EIR on Hollywood Central Park

Scoping Session Kicks Off Environmental Review of Ambitious Freeway Cap Park

HOLLYWOOD—The City of Los Angeles and Friends of the Hollywood Central Park today announced the start of the environmental review process for the proposed Hollywood Central Park.

The process got underway with the publication of a Notice of Preparation setting the date and time for a scoping session that gives the public an opportunity to provide input on what should be looked at as part of the environmental impact report being conducted on the ambitious 38-acre park proposed to be built above a 1-mile-long stretch of the Hollywood Freeway.

The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, which is serving as the lead agency on the project under the California Environmental Quality Act, will host the scoping session on Saturday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. to noon at the STEM Academy at Helen Bernstein High School, 1309 N. Wilton Place, in the Quad.

“This brings us one big step closer toward achieving the long-held dream of building this much-needed park in the heart of Hollywood,” said Laurie Goldman, executive director of the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park.  “It is a major milestone that demonstrates just how far this plan has come over the past few years.”

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the park site, is equally excited about the park’s progress.

“This is an exciting time for the great 13th Council District, and I am thrilled that a quality project like Hollywood Central Park holds great promise for the community,” O’Farrell said.  “I encourage my constituents to take full advantage of this opportunity to participate in the public process and help shape the scope of the park's environmental report.”

Hollywood Central Park is proposed for the air space above the stretch of the Hollywood Freeway between Santa Monica Boulevard and Bronson Avenue.  The project area covers approximately 38 acres, located within Caltrans right-of-way, and varies in width between 200 and 400 feet.

By constructing a cap over a portion of the existing freeway trench, the project proposes to create a street-level urban park.  The park’s conceptual plan outlines a variety of features, including landscaped open space, multipurpose fields, pedestrian meadows, small retail facilities (such as bike shops, seasonal markets, and art galleries), restaurants, an amphitheater, a community center, playgrounds, dog parks, and interactive community areas, among other possibilities.

At the most basic level, and for environmental review purposes, the project contains two major components.  The first is the usable area and facilities within the park.  The second component is the engineered deck above the Hollywood Freeway and the supporting infrastructure.  

The draft EIR will examine a host of possible issue areas, including aesthetics, air quality,

cultural resources, geology and soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, land use and planning, noise, population and housing, public services, recreation, transportation and circulation, and utilities.

Friends of the Hollywood Central Park was created in December 2009 to raise funds to create a park that will reunite communities separated for 60 years by the freeway.  In addition to providing much-needed recreational space in one of LA’s densest and most park-poor neighborhoods, it will create an estimated 40,000 jobs over 10 years, provide economic stimulus and long-term economic security, build healthy communities, and provide children with open green space in which to grow and thrive.  

Hollywood Central Park began as an idea nearly 30 years ago.  In 2006 it progressed from a Hollywood Chamber of Commerce initiative to a Hollywood community coalition, with support from then-LA City Council President Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency.  Three years later, in 2009, saw the launch of Friends of the Hollywood Central Park.  

In 2012 FHCP received a $1.2 million donation from the Aileen Getty Foundation.  Those funds, coupled with $825,000 from the City of Los Angeles, will go toward conducting the environmental impact report.  According to a preliminary schedule, it is projected that the Draft EIR will be completed and ready for public review by early 2015.

For more information, please visit www.hollywoodcentralpark.org or http://www.laparks.org/environmental/environmental.htm.

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PR Date: 
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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