Meadow...Not a Walk in the Park...

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The "meadow"...why isn't it called "park"??? Dunno, but for any newbies: the topic today, should you care to play, is "Open or Shut" --area surrounding Silver Lake Reservoir.

Lotta peeps did lotta work --to save it --keep DWP from filling reservoir with concrete --get it Open, after DWP was finished using it for above-ground water storage.

Others, not so much --as in NIMFY? --That would be: Not In My Front Yard?

The Meadow, ex-water duct, fence, et al, all publicly owned, so it should be open to: the public.

I'm guessing, here: those who want it kept closed --are in the direct geography? --If any one opposed to opening the Meadow: lived a mile -1/2 mile -3 blocks away, would they want it off-limits? I suspect: Not.

Can you picture --the Queen saying 'Shut Hyde Park, I don't want the hoi paloi in there'? Elizabeth would sink --even farther in popularity.

The NOT crowd has used words to influence, like 'gangs' 'noise' 'wild parties' 'nature preserve' 'natural habitat' 'wild creatures'...they don't want the Meadow open, so --whatever will work to keep it shut?

Why do I say that? I've asked a Lot of people --walking -running -riding -driving by, what they think. Those who don't live Right There: want it Open.

Following is an editorial by: Michael Locke, 'The Silver Lake News'

What's All the Controversy About the (Silver Lake) Meadow?

On the morning of October 13, 2007, Council member Eric Garcetti hosted a meeting at Micheltorena School where he presented revised plans for the grassy area known as the meadow on the east side of the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex. For more than a year, Garcetti has been working with the DWP and community leaders from the Committee to Save Silver Lake's Reservoirs (CSSLR) to expedite opening the meadow to expand public open space in a city and neighborhood sorely lacking parks.

While Council member Garcetti appeared to be making the meadow a priority, an open meadow area has been in the works for nearly a decade. It was conceived as part of a community process that began in 1997 and led to the development of the Silver Lake Master Plan (SLMP) which was published in November 2000 after input by over 450 community stakeholders Since then, numerous community meetings have been held to keep residents abreast of developments related to the reservoirs and progress on implementation of the SLMP. Few community improvement projects have received more vetting that the SLMP.

However at the meeting held on October 13th, which was agendized to provide updates on the Silver Lake Blvd. walking path, a fallen retainer wall, and management of the meadow, Council member Garcetti unveiled a new proposal for the meadow adopting an idea put forth by a newly formed group opposed to opening the meadow called Silver Lake Friends and Neighbors (SLFAN). Before fewer than 50 Silver Lake residents and without any materials for the audience, Garcetti and Brian Wakil from SLFAN displayed a PowerPoint drawing of a revised plan to limit public access to the meadow area, creating a gated nature preserve open only by special arrangement---essentially a private park.

Several people who've attended years of community meetings on the meadow were confused by the turn of events on October 13th. 'I've attended lots of community events and support making the meadow a public park, but this new plan looks like only a fraction of the space will be open', said one Silver Lake resident. After months of working with Garcetti and his staff on a plan to open the meadow, it seemed that Mr. Garcetti had adopted a proposal by a small, but vocal group of neighbors who are opposed to making the meadow an open, public space.

Since word of the new restrictions on the meadow has spread through the community, a lively debate has surfaced on the CSSLR community forum at csslrorg@yahoogroups.com. A quick perusal of the posting since October 13 show at least 20 people commenting in favor of opening the meadow as originally planned while only four were opposed. One Silver Lake resident posted a copy of a letter he sent to Council members Garcetti and Tom LaBonge, 'I was extremely disappointed by this morning's meeting. While I was happy to hear that construction of the walking path is moving forward, I was floored by the presentation of a plan as a compromise plan for the meadow. It is not a compromise plan. It is a plan proffered by one group of community members with a single position, specifically, not opening the meadow. I have another plan I would like to put forth, open the meadow', wrote Ian Jipp.

Ironically, while specific drawings for the original plans to open the meadow were widely available, this is no clear plan from Council member Garcetti or SLFAN that describes the new restrictions on the meadow space. Brian Wakil of SFLAN, claimed on CSSLR's online community forum that their new plan, 'permanently opens three acres of the meadows and allows access to the other three acres to those who would like to enjoy it by a simple phone call.' Glen Dake responded to the news: 'I'm thrilled to learn that Silver Lake Friends and Neighbors support opening 3 acres of the meadow: that's is half of the total of 6 acres.'. However, Mr. Wakin then retreated from his earlier statement: 'The walking path will carve about 2 acres out of the meadows and the new plan addes an additional 1.6 acres. That is often forgotten in the calculations'. According to Mr. Wakil, SLFAN considers the walking path around the entire reservoir, most of which has been carved out of the street and does not abut the meadow, as part of SFLAN's 'compromise' plan!

What's been lost in the debate about the meadow is the community process that's been nurtured for nearly two decades by CSSLR. CSSLR prevented the reservoirs from being covered, fought the building of an industrial filtration plant, successfully challenged placement of a cell phone tower on the reservoir property, and worked with local and state government to find the money to build a safe pedestrian path around the reservoirs. CSSLR has hosted more than a dozen well-attended community meetings about plans for the reservoirs, has sent regular newsletters to more than 15,000 addresses in Silver Lake, maintains an informative website (CSSLR.org) full of current and historical information about reservoir plans, and hosts the online community forum mentioned above. If Council member Garcetti believes that the original plan for opening the meadow should be compromised in order to appease SLFAN, then the larger community deserves to have the same opportunity to review and comment on the new plan through a well-publicized and well-attended community process. Let's not let this 'johnny-come-lately' group of people opposed to opening the meadow hijack the process! That's my opinion; what's yours?

Me? I'd like to see boats on the water...a volleyball court...a badminton court..to walk around entire reservoir --and arrive there by DASH...parking for cars, bicycles, scooters. I'd like to have a Real rep --who pays Attention --to All, doesn't hog credit -go 'into business for himself' -do side deals --Silver Lake daVine....

You? Comment below
or: the Committee to Save Silver Lake's Reservoirs (CSSLR) has a community forum website at: csslrorg@yahoogroups.com
Or: send your thoughts to Eric Garcetti, his link - Sidebar 'local government'

Hey! I know: if your house faces the reservoir, you want silence -no people -meadow closed --give ME your house, I'll cope! Shoot me an e-mail.

NOTE I found a fascinating thing several months ago: architectural drawing --of how the area could go, including, I recall, idea of hooking up the reservoir to the LA River --exchanged e-mails with author, a SL resident, his thought of feeding reservoir with fresh flowing water - will post.

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tag: Silver Lake reservoir meadow fence water recreation community path walk play discussion Eric Garcetti Los Angeles City Council rep CD 13


  1. so WRONG ! i don't live within 3 miles of the park. but i'm there every day....at the dog park...and it should be closed as it was before and should stay closed ! leave SOME area for the wildlife to be

  2. You're saying: You live/work in Silver Lake?
    --The Meadow should be closed to humans --for wildlife?

    The San Gabriel mountains, Santa Monica Mountain Reserve, Santa Barbara mountains, vast swaths of central, northern CA aren't enough?
    --They need/Must have the TINY plot
    around the SL reservoir, too?

    Nope, don't agree.

    HUMANS need wild, green space. But Thanks to Eric Garcetti and his ilk, there's serious scarcity of it, especially in Silver Lake. --His precious 'developer' pals "need" ALL the space, to erect stuff; he "needs" their dough, so he can stay in office, keep on collecting those sweet $190k paychecks = residents get the shaft & no un-built/green space.

    Long before Garcetti lied to voters
    to get into office: somebody decided Pets Should Have Space --how many don't agree? --They take up a lot. --Would you rather give Dog Park over to humans? Or: you have your own 'green space' so too bad for everyone else?

    I like it that you popped in, Commented. You're welcome back, any time.