CTN received the comment (below) and felt it raised a legitimate question about the Community Council’s intense focus on the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero.
“Maryam Zar and the PPCC (Pacific Palisades Community Council) continue to sit on their hands and do nothing to address the myriad, well-documented safety issues of the Recreation Center, while Potrero Canyon is handled with kid gloves.
“Why isn’t Zar calling for a similar gating of the Recreation Center as Potrero Canyon, where there is no parking lot anyway for kids to drive into and party?” the resident wrote. “Have there been tasering incidents, overdoses, nightly fireworks and drag racing in Potrero Canyon, as have been documented for months if not years in the Rec Center? I don’t recall seeing a SINGLE video showing incidents coming out of Potrero Canyon, yet this space oddly seems to be PPCC’s singular and obsessive focus. PPCC serves only one constituency when it comes it park safety and the safety of surrounding residents—and that is the residents of Potrero Canyon.”
Other residents, including this editor, who live on or near the rim of Temescal Canyon, face numerous issues and have for decades.
Last year with the rains, a portion of the east canyon sloughed off and partially buried two picnic tables. Park and Rec put up yellow “stay out” tape, but it took months before the mud was cleared up. The picnic tables need to be moved away from the slide and closer to the road (and the dead brush cleared).
On October 31, a brush fire below Tahitian Terrace and near Pacific Coast Highway broke out and raced up the hill. Thanks to prompt Los Angeles Fire Department action, including an air response and favorable conditions (no wind), the fire was put out before it destroyed homes of the people who live on the rim.
Routinely, the park is filled with graffiti, trash and shopping carts. At least five dead bodies have been found in Temescal (one was a gang victim, two were suicides and two were homeless – no foul play). The number of dead doesn’t include the man who died when the construction collapsed on him in 2013.
The road was paved in November 2022, but because there was a water leak on the lower portion of the road, a lane of this major thoroughfare was closed and remained closed for nearly a year. Kudos for Councilwoman Traci Park for advocating for money for repairs.
There is no fence around this park, which means that for years, transients can go and continue to go into the brush and camp—even though there are signs posted that it is illegal to do so. The Los Angeles Police Beach Detail and the Task Force on Homelessness have managed to keep this under control.
Rec and Parks haven’t done brush clearance in parts of Temescal Canyon Park, and they probably have been cited for it, but that doesn’t make it any safer. There have been two port-a-potties placed near the restrooms for months, but no reason given–does that mean there are issues with these restrooms?
Traffic issues at the corner of Temescal and PCH are ongoing whenever Palisades High School is in session. Cars are lined up halfway back to the canyon during the opening and closing of school. For years, residents have asked Caltrans and the City to allow three lanes to turn left onto PCH, when the light changes, but that problem has been totally ignored—with Caltrans simply saying “there’s no room” to make that turn, even though they’ve received pictures of school buses, which illegally and routinely make the turn.
CTN asked Zar, why a Potrero Committee? Because compared to the issues on Temescal, Potrero seems simplistic.
Zar responded: “Potrero—not simplistic. Actually, quite complex with hours of credible, steady, effective advocacy of PPCC that have been spent making sure soil slippage, gates, locks, fences, bathrooms and more are addressed, while also keeping an eye on brush clearance, signage, and most importantly responsible coastal access. Not done, yet.
“We made a Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee because in July or August 2022 the board decided there we many loose ends that needed to be addressed with the newly opened GWPPC (George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon) and we needed to have an entity dedicated to chasing loose ends/failings such as slope slippage, lock mechanisms, graffiti, brush clearance, fence shortcomings, water leakage…. and making sure they came to fruition/were addressed and brought to closure.
“The PCOC was formed and has done A LOT to ensure that issues were softly addressed, and city held to account (we have tab on our website with a running set of updates constantly revised/renewed). We also wanted to push along the coastal access matter — if lateral trail, then to get the city and state agencies that needed to collaborate on right of re-entry talking/working together again. And if bridge, then addressing at PPCC/community for a discussion/re-affirmation of findings many years ago and a decision to move forward to the information/due diligence stage. All that has been done — to varying degrees of satisfaction for people on either side of the matter, but done and done responsibly, nevertheless.”