Prop O Oversight Committee Meeting re: VHGC

The Prop O Citizens Oversight Advisory Committee (COAC) met downtown today  in East City Hall  for their monthly meeting . The STA was there along with VOICE, members of the STNC, and Little Landers. The item on the agenda that we were all interested in was a discussion & possible action on the Verdugo Hills Golf Course.  First, a little background on Prop O:

On November 2, 2004, the voters of Los Angeles overwhelmingly passed Proposition O, which authorized the City of Los Angeles to issue a series of general obligation bonds for up to $500 million for projects to protect public health by cleaning up pollution, including bacteria and trash, in the City’s watercourses, beaches and the ocean, in order to meet Federal Clean Water Act requirements.In addition, the measure will fund improvements to protect water quality, provide flood protection, and increase water conservation, habitat protection, and open space. The bonds will allow the City to purchase property and/or improve municipal properties for projects that:
Protect rivers, lakes, beaches, and the ocean
Conserve and protect drinking water and other waters sources
Reduce flooding and use neighborhood parks to decrease polluted runoff
Capture, clean up, and reuse stormwater

The “Capture, clean up, and reuse stormwater ” intent of Prop O is where the Verdugo Hills Golf Course comes in. Simply stated, the VHGC is a perfect candidate to be a groundwater collector and recharging facility. Councilman Krekorian had made the proposal that Prop O funds be used to acquire the VHGC from Snowball Investments. The golf course would still be able to operate and most of the water collected would be stored under the driving range.  There was a presentation to the committee by the Dept of Sanitation  who strongly supports Councilman Krekorian’s proposal and then comments from community members regarding the importance of this site and the value of protecting it from being transformed into 229 high density townhomes. The committee seemed receptive to the idea and have asked for more technical data regarding the potential recharging (cleaning) return on the site. Several committee members expressed how pleased they were to see  community members in attendance and were impressed with the documentation provided by Voice and Lloyd Hitt.   The committee will meet again next month and are tentatively scheduled to discuss the technical issues and possibly the financial requirements of purchasing the golf course.

Stay tuned on this one!

We also have to extend our deepest thanks to Councilman Krekorian for thinking outside the box and coming up with this wonderful idea! We also appreciate him leaving the City Council during today’s budget talks to speak briefly before the committee to make a case for this acquisition!

To learn more about Prop O, go here.

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