U.S. House of Representative Ted Lieu announced on July 5 that a community grant of $1.15 million had been approved to pay for the construction of a trail that will connect the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon Park with Temescal Canyon Road.
Funds will allow for the grading and installation of a half-mile long, 12-foot-wide decomposed granite trail and protective fence that will meander over the naturally hilly terrain along Pacific Coast Highway to the nearest signaled intersection and crosswalk at Temescal Canyon Road.
Since there is no traffic signal or pedestrian crossing at the mouth of the canyon, a safe pathway to the Temescal Canyon intersection leading to the beach will provide public access to the coast and is necessary to prevent park and beachgoers from attempting to cross Pacific Coast Highway.
“I’m pleased to be able to advocate once again for valuable and impactful projects in Los Angeles,” Lieu said in a press release (visit: https://lieu.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-lieu-secures-over-75-million-city-los-angeles-projects).
A pedestrian bridge at the base of Potrero has been funded by the state for $11 million and the City Bureau of Engineering is working on the design.
At a July 7 Board of Commissioners Recreation and Park meeting, attendees were told that the landscaping is 50 percent done and Potrero Park is slated to open in the fall.
Currently the Park will be open at Frontera, with a second smaller gate planned for Friends Street for residents to utilize.
Some Friends Street residents have submitted a letter to the Coastal Commission arguing there should be no gate because there had been no traffic study, the gate is in the Very High Fire Hazard Zone and public safety had not been considered.
Palisades Highlands resident Harris Leven submitted a letter to the Coastal Commission for its July 14 hearing.
Leven commiserated with the Friends Street residents: We “raised the exact same concerns in filings with the City of Los Angeles and the Coastal Commission about the construction of a four-story, 64,600+ sq. ft. building intended to house a for-profit institution. That building is being constructed in our 99.98% residential neighborhood of homes and townhomes of no more than three-stories and of structures, including those encompassing as many as ten townhomes, that are less than half the size of the building.
“We were supported by petition signatures from more than 1,600 people evidencing, like the West Rim Neighborhood asserts, overwhelming opposition to the building project. In addition, my neighbors and I argued that the building project also violated numerous sections of the Coastal Act and in particular PRC§§ 30240, 30250, 30251, 30253, 30620, and 30620.5. . . .
“The City rejected our neighborhood’s arguments and misapplied the Coastal Act reasoning that the Act’s protections did not apply to the building because the building’s site is two and a half miles from the coast and does not have a view of the ocean. The City essentially ignored that the building’s site is within the Coastal Zone, adjacent to the City’s Santa Ynez Canyon Park and Topanga State Park, and amidst the Santa Monica Mountains for which the provisions of the Coastal Act do apply. Most unfortunately, the Coastal Commission established a hard precedent against the arguments of the West Rim Neighborhood when the Commission found “no substantial issue” in my neighbors’ appeal of the City’s decision to the Commission in Appeal No. A-5-PPL-18-0035.
“I do not see how the Commission can in any way entertain the West Rim Neighborhood’s concerns when the Commission has flat out rejected those concerns elsewhere in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.”
Leven concluded “I understand and appreciate the concerns expressed about the Friends Street access to George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon and the related path and planned kiosk. I do not expect the Commission to order the closure of that access, but if the Commission wants to do so, or even entertain the idea of doing so, the Commission must first act to reverse the contrary precedent involving my neighborhood in the case currently pending in the California 2nd District Court of Appeal. (Pacific Palisades Residents Association, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, et al., Case No. B306658).
(Editor’s note: The Highlands Edlercare Facility, at 1525 Palisades Drive is located in the Very High Fire Severity Zone, surrounded by a state and city park. The project did not undergo an environmental review nor a traffic study. Those residents who opposed the project were called NIMBY’s.)