Back in 2020, Los Angeles officials began exploring a new master plan for the Sepulveda Basin, with the aim of making the 2,000-acre flood control basin into a better central park for the San Fernando Valley. Now, with a new visioning process underway, you have a chance to voice your opinion.
Much of the property is already given over to open space. According to city presentations, its offerings include sports fields, community amenities (like the Japanese Garden), and three 18-hole golf courses. However, in a 2011 plan created by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, which owns the complex, it was estimated that 575 acres of land within the Sepulveda Basin is either designated inactive or set aside for vegetation management, leaving room for an expansion of its offerings.
The Vision plan includes three alternatives, each of which calls for an expansion of multi-modal transportation infrastructure across the basin - the proposed additions include new bridges, green streets, walking paths, and an extension of the Los Angeles River bike path, among other improvements. Likewise, all propose the addition of new recreational facilities, including soccer fields, pickleball courts, and a kayak launch on the river. Several components of the plan are already in the planning stages, including the Balboa Aquatic Center, the Hjelte Soccer Field, and an extension of the LA River trail from White Oak to Burbank.
Where the three alternatives diverge is their treatment of the river, which creates the basin by virtue of the Sepulveda Dam at its southeast corner. The three concepts, dubbed The Wildlands, The Terraced Floodplain, and The River Valley, call for different degrees of de-channelization of the river. The Wildlands and the Terrace Flood Plain being the most aggressive options, adding the most capacity to the basin and de-channelizing the river and various tributaries. Those options would also cut down on space for some other functions within the basin: namely, two of the existing golf courses. The more modest third alternative, the River Valley, would fall short of removing the concrete walls which encase the river, though it would widen the corridor and add terracing. The more modest scope would also retain all of the existing golf courses, though it would still accommodate room for additional sports fields and mobility infrastructure.
The City's Bureau of Engineering is currently seeking feedback on the Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan through an online survey.
City consultants have identified a number of Federal and State programs which would be used to fund the various projects proposed in the Vision Plan. However, don't look for shovels to hit dirt anytime soon. According to a project timeline included with a community presentation, the Vision Plan would be implemented in multiple phases starting over the coming years. Some elements are not expected to be implemented until the late 2030s.
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- New Master Plan in the Works for the Sepulveda Basin (Urbanize LA)