Trading Trees for Astroturf

The hillside opposite Harvard Westlake school that will be removed if their planned project goes forward.

The hillside opposite Harvard Westlake school that will be removed if their planned project goes forward.

Isn’t traffic on Coldwater Canyon bad enough already? Because of LA’s unusual geography, there are only a few corridors that drivers can use to go from the city to the valley and vice-versa. Coldwater is one of those roads. Originally a quiet ride through a scenic canyon, in the last few decades Coldwater has become a major route for commuters going to and from work. Under ordinary circumstances, congestion is a problem during the work week. But for several months now the back-ups have been worse than usual because the DWP has been replacing an aging pipeline. Residents of Sherman Oaks and Studio City are understandably frustrated.

Now the Harvard Westlake School, which is located on Coldwater just a few hundred yards from Ventura Blvd., has decided it wants to expand. They have let the community know that they plan to build a three level parking structure on the hillside directly opposite the school. On top of the parking structure will be a playing field, illuminated by powerful lights during night games, and a pedestrian bridge to connect that structure to the school’s main campus.

As you might imagine, local residents are freaking out. Traffic is one concern, but just as important is the damage this project will do to the environment. In order to build the parking structure, the school will have to remove a large chunk of the hillside, including scores of trees. If you want more detailed information, follow the link below.

Save Coldwater Canyon

At this point the Draft Environmental Impact Report is being circulated. The City of LA will be accepting comments on the DEIR until Nomember twenty fifth. Also, the Studio City Neighborhood Council will be meeting on November seventh, and they will hear comments from the public at that time. But I would imagine that there are a number of people who live outside of the immediate area that might be concerned about the traffic and environmental impacts. If you think this plan is unacceptable, please contact your city council rep and tell them so. Click on the link to access the city council directory.

LA City Council

Traffic on Coldwater Canyon heading towards Ventura Blvd., just after six pm on a Wednesday evening.

Traffic on Coldwater Canyon heading towards Ventura Blvd., just after six pm on a Wednesday evening.

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