Yesterday, Los Angeles County released the final draft for its L.A. River Master Plan, creating a new framework for new open space and water quality projects along the length of the meandering 51-mile waterway.
“The LA River Master Plan outlines critical investments throughout the 51 miles of the river and supports our river-adjacent communities,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis in a news release. “Once adopted, this Plan will ensure that every LA County resident has equal access to the river while improving our local water supply and expanding parks and open space, trails, and more.”
While a number of restoration efforts have targeted various segments of the river - including the City of L.A.’s Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and the Lower L.A. River Revitalization Plan - the County's plan is the only document accounting for the full corridor between its headwaters in the San Fernando Valley and its outlet in San Pedro Bay.
The plan is described as a toolkit for equitable community-driven projects along the river, including infrastructure improvements and parks, while also addressing issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and gentrification.
“We explored areas of social, cultural, and ecological disparity, including homelessness, gentrification, public open space, public health, and community and environmental inequities in infrastructure,” said L.A. County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella. “The result is a Plan that recognizes the river as a complex ‘system of systems’ in which people, places and the environment are encouraged to coexist, intermingle and thrive”
While adoption of the master plan will not directly result in the implementation of projects slated for the river corridor - including a 42-acre park slated for the Taylor Yard - it improves the potential for those projects to secure public funding. Additionally, it creates a "kit of parts" for new river projects, ranging from basic multi-use trails to channel modifications and flood plain reclamation.
The L.A. County plan was initiated in 2016 via a motion introduced by Los Angeles County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl, and was developed through more than two dozen community events and meetings over the past six years. Consultants that have worked on the plan include architect Frank Gehry, landscape architecture firm Olin, and the engineering firm Geosyntec.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to adopt the new master plan at its meeting on June 14, 2022. Visit be viewed or downloaded at LARiverMasterPlan.org.
- L.A. River Master Plan (Urbanize LA)