Harvard-Westlake Parking ExpansionIn 2013, Harvard-Westlake launched an unprecedented parking plan, to the shock and surprise of its neighbors. Rather than benefitting the community, the plan would disfigure our foothills, urbanize our community, and add to congestion.
In the past two years, the community opposition to this massive project has grown steadily. Read more to find out why so many residents, commuters and environmentalists oppose this unnecessary and destructive project.
Here’s what the school wants to do:
This kind of garage belongs at a mall, not in a canyon on land that’s one of the few open space areas left in Los Angeles.
Traffic & Construction
Original estimate: 2 years and 9 months
100 trucks per day, Monday-Saturday, hauling dirt.
Flagmen stopping traffic for trucks, cranes and backhoes.
All this after 3 years of DWP trunk line construction.
The Los Angeles Times reports that 1,300 cars per hour drive Coldwater Canyon. During the years of construction, road closures and delays would bring traffic to a grinding halt. If the garage is allowed to be built, a net increase of over 500 cars would routinely drive Coldwater — adding to the rush hour commute and creating even worse traffic delays and congestion.
Do we really want Canyon-Geddon II?
The Environmental Damage
Loss or damage to 130 protected oak and walnut trees, plus removal of hundreds of other trees and shrubs on the hillside.
“Human-intolerant mammal and bird species would permanently decline.” (SMMC Comment Letter, 9/23/13)
The creation of a “multi-acre disturbance zone” in a known wildlife corridor. (SMMC Comment Letter, 9/23/13)
Light and noise pollution from the athletic field.
Loss of scenic vistas.
Damage to the subsurface water table due to deep cuts into bedrock.
Damage to air and water during construction.
The LawThe school must obtain carve-outs from the City Planning Commission, the Board of Public Works, the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Commission and the Los Angeles City Council. The school wants to change all of the following:
Height: They want to exceed the 30-feet limit.
Airspace: They want to build a land bridge as if Coldwater were a freeway.
Excavation: They want to remove 135,000 cubic yards of soil – over 400 million pounds. Basically, the hillside.
The NeedThere is none.
The School’s own lawyers have repeatedly told the City that, at their current enrollment, 436 spaces were more than adequate to meet the needs of the campus. They already have 568 – 30% more than they need. If the new garage is built, they will have 1,226 – nearly three times what they need.
The school claims to have no plans to increase enrollment, yet their lawyers argue they have no enrollment cap to stop them.
The school already has a state-of-the-art sports field on the east side of Coldwater Canyon, and routinely buses their athletes to nearby practice fields.
The school claims to have no plans to build new facilities on the existing parking lots.
The school claims there will be no increase in traffic to the school and the plan will actually reduce traffic (did you ever know a property owner who added 750 new parking spaces so it could reduce traffic to its property?).
If everything the school claims is true, why do they need this?
And why should all these exceptions be made just for them?