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Update From SLAROS  


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SLAROS continues Green Open Space Advocacy against the Harvard-Westlake Development at Weddington

Here are some important updates on Save LA River Open Space (SLAROS). The SLAROS Board appointed Dr. Dale Fernandez as President this past September. Dr. Fernandez has served on the board since 2021 and has been a volunteer since 2020. Alan Dymond has served as President since 2008 and will remain on the board as President Emeritus.

On September 12, 2023, the City Planning Commission (CPC) issued its determination letter on the Harvard-Westlake Development at Weddington Golf and Tennis. Usually taking up to 75 days of a CPC hearing, this letter was somehow fast-tracked within 20 days after the CPC hearing on August 24, 2023. The determination letter very closely mirrored the Final Environmental Impact Report issued by planning. It was important to note that two of the CPC members are HW alumni and chose to not recuse themselves. As stated before, the project is TOO BIG and not compatible with its surroundings.

On September 26, 2023, SCRA and SLAROS filed an appeal with the City Planning Department. The next step is a public hearing on November 7th before the City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM). The meeting is at 2:00 PM, at LA City Hall, 200 N. Spring St. Room 340. Carpools will be made available. At PLUM we will all have another opportunity to voice our objections as to the size and scope of this project in a single-family neighborhood. LA City must reduce the size of this project and save the tranquility of this residential neighborhood.

On another front, SLAROS has been educating the community on the potential ecological and sports injury dangers of plastic playing fields proposed for the HW development. Assembly Bill 1423 banning artificial turf because of its forever chemicals (PFAS) reached the governor’s desk for signature but was not signed. This bill would have banned the use of toxic artificial turf but exempt anyone who has on or before December 31, 2025: a concept design, contracted for the installation of artificial turf, or purchased artificial turf. Governor Newsom agreed with the intent of AB 1423 however, he has sent it back to the author and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to figure out how to enforce such legislation.

Currently, Assemblymember Ting has a bill AB 347 on Household Product Safety: Toxic Substances: testing and enforcement, which would require the Department of Toxic Substances Control to adopt guidance regarding the PFAS prohibition.

The science is there and we urge Harvard-Westlake to do the right thing: Do not install the artificial turf; stop the pollution of the LA River, stop putting your students in danger of exposure to PFAS and injury, and prevent the heat island effect from this project.

Please visit SaveLARiverOpenSpace ASAP to send an email to PLUM, the mayor, and the city council using our one-click email button.

Dale Fernandez, President SLAROS


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