Save LA River Open Space & Studio City Residents Association Legal Action Against City of Los Angeles Over Controversial Athletic Facility

Studio City, California – In a move to safeguard the remaining 16 acres of unprotected open space along the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley, Save LA River Open Space (SLAROS) and the Studio City Residents Association (SCRA) have officially filed litigation against the City of Los Angeles. This legal action comes in response to the City's approval of a massive private school athletic facility for Harvard-Westlake.
STUDIO CITY, Calif. - Dec. 20, 2023 - PRLog -- The decision to pursue litigation was made after exhaustive efforts to engage with the City and address concerns over the proposed development were met with resistance. Despite numerous appeals to reduce the density of development and the intensity of uses planned for this crucial green open space, the City remained steadfast in its approval of the controversial project.

Harvard-Westlake's assertion that the site could still be used by the public is deemed misleading by the litigants, as significant financial and organizational barriers would hinder public access, in stark contrast to the existing golf course's accessibility.

Key Concerns Addressed in the Litigation:

Undisclosed Adverse Impacts: The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) fails to fully disclose the adverse impacts of the project, including the elimination of scenic trees, increased traffic, air quality and greenhouse gas impacts, changes in hydrologic conditions, loss of public recreational access, and potential public health impacts. Artificial Turf Hazards: Despite expert evidence demonstrating the hazards associated with artificial turf, the project persists in using it on sports fields. The California legislature's recognition of the harmful qualities of artificial turf, such as its lack of recyclability and the presence of toxins like lead and PFAS, raises serious environmental and health concerns.
Unaddressed Future Activities: The EIR neglects to disclose the reasonably foreseeable activities that will be spurred on Harvard-Westlake's Coldwater Canyon campus by making the existing athletic facilities obsolete.

The lawsuit aims to challenge the City's decision and protect the invaluable open space along the LA River, advocating for sustainable development practices that prioritize the community's well-being and environmental conservation.

Save LA River Open Space (SLAROS) is a community-based organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the last 16 acres of open space along the Los Angeles River. Committed to sustainable development, SLAROS advocates for responsible land use practices and the conservation of natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

Dale Fernandez
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