Councilmember Paul Krekorian on Wednesday reiterated his support for community-generated plans to save the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and Studio City Golf & Tennis from development, telling a citizen oversight committee he believes money from a voter-approved bond can be used to preserve the two beloved community institutions as open space.
Krekorian told the Proposition O Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee that funds from the measure should be used to pay for the Verdugo Hills Stormwater Project, in Tujunga, and the Los Angeles River Natural Park project, in Studio City.
"These projects have a lot in common," said Councilmember Krekorian in front of advocates for both sites. "Both involve beautiful open space properties that have been treasured for decades in our communities; both are threatened with development projects that would forever change their natural character, destroy the open space and negatively impact the waterways on which they lie.
"Most importantly, both have the potential to capture and clean runoff from hundreds of acres of land -- runoff that flows directly into the Verdugo Wash, the L.A. River and out to the sea."
In 2004, Los Angeles voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition O, which authorized the City to issue a series of general obligation bonds for projects that protect public health by cleaning up the city’s polluted or trash-strewn waterways, beaches and/or the ocean to meet federal clean water guidelines.
In addition, the measure is intended to fund water quality improvements, provide flood protection, increase water conservation and protect open space. In that vein, the bonds allow the City to purchase property and/or improve municipal properties for projects that, among other things, protect rivers, conserve and protect drinking water, and capture, clean up and reuse storm water.
In the Second Council District, no project has ever been funded using Proposition O funds and just four sites in the San Fernando Valley have tapped the bond measure’s financial source. Krekorian argued to the Committee that the time had come for that to change.
Using Proposition O money on projects at the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and Studio City Golf and Tennis would be "feasible, affordable, and highly impactful," Krekorian said.
"These two projects will not only clean up the storm water runoff but will also recharge the aquifer with hundreds of acre feet of water a year," he continued.
"These two projects present a rare opportunity for the City of Los Angeles to make a major water quality impact while also preserving these vital contributors to the quality of life, character and history of these communities.
"They will present a dramatic example of the benefits of storm water recapture and groundwater recharge, while enhancing our environment, preserving open space and creating green jobs. I strongly support Prop O funding for each of these projects and stand ready to assist in seeing them completed."
A report on its feasibility is due next month.