Federal officials gave a major boost Wednesday to the city’s plans to turn the Los Angeles River into an urban oasis for recreation and a hub for new commercial and residential development.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it has decided to recommend approval of an ambitious, $1-billion proposal to restore habitat, widen the river, create wetlands and provide access points and bike trails along an 11-mile stretch north of downtown through Elysian Park. . . .
However, environmentalists and communities along the river, many of them working-class, have raised concerns that development interests will take over the process. They fear that public access and environmental concerns will be subsumed beneath a desire to give wealthier Angelenos pleasant places to live, work and shop.
Read the rest of this article by Lous Sahagun in the May 28 L.A. Times . . .
Los Angeles attorney Robert Garcia, executive director of the City Project, a nonprofit dedicated to broadening access to parks and open space for inner-city residents, said he foresees tumultuous times over the future of the river.
“Historically, the city treated its river as an industrial wasteland with low rents for homes and small businesses,” Garcia said, seated on a park bench near a downtown area proposed for riverside development. “Now, developers are urging commercial buyers to snatch up land along the river’s shoulders.
“Sadly,” he said, “a land grab is underway.”
Read the rest of this story by Louis Sahagun and Catherine Saillant in the May 25 Los Angeles Times . . .