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Huizar to Outline Plans for a Public Park on York and Avenue 50

Saturday’s York Park celebration will invite community feedback on the proposed park’s design and development.

The site of Saturday's York Park celebration on the corner of Avenue 50 and York Boulevard. Credit: Ajay Singh
The site of Saturday's York Park celebration on the corner of Avenue 50 and York Boulevard. Credit: Ajay Singh
Community members are invited to celebrate plans by the City of Los Angeles to convert a vacant quarter-acre lot into a public park on the southwest corner of Avenue 50 and York Boulevard, adjacent to Café de Leche in Highland Park.

At 10 a.m., Councilmember José Huizar will announce a timeline for community meetings aimed at determining what the proposed park will look like, Huizar’s Communications Director Rick Coca said, adding that community members will also be encouraged to share their ideas for the park’s designs in a workshop setting.

The fenced lot is owned by the city and was once the site of a gas station. Community members will be allowed to walk around the enclosed space during the York Park celebration.

Huizar will be accompanied by officials from the Department of Recreation & Parks as well as Highland Park community members.

The City of Los Angeles received $2.875 million in funding from Proposition 84 last year through the York Vision plan, a series of community improvement workshops that Huizar sponsored.

It was community members associated with the York Vision Plan who proposed that the vacant lot on Avenue 50 and York be turned into a public park. Community members were also instrumental in the construction of a parklet on 5030 York Blvd., one of the city’s first spaces of its kind, according to Coca.

The scheduled York Park celebration assumes particular importance because it comes close on the heels of Huizar’s announcement in Eagle Rock Monday that bicycle lanes would be installed along Colorado Boulevard.

Hoping for a similar park along Colorado Boulevard, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council is urging ER residents and stakeholders on its official website to attend the York Park celebration.

“Yes, it’s in Highland Park, but it’s also a big deal—the City is buying an empty lot and turning it into a park,” a message on the ERNC site says, adding: “That hasn’t happened in Los Angeles in ages, and if it can happen in the HP, it can happen in the ER, too.”
Gil June 08, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Thats interesting considering most of the residents living on AVE 50, feet away from the celebration know nothing about it.. Typical Only the City of L. A. would make a new park while all other exsiting parks in 90042 are and have been neglected. Examples no working drinking water, no working bathrooms, pipe and sprinkler leaks all over the place, tagging everywhere on playground equipment. Its been like this the past 4 years. still no working water or working bathrooms. Bad idea $2.875 million i doubt will be enough to cover cost of the land and for the parks future upkeep. Also $2.875 million seems over priced for a lot the use to be a gas station that was shut down because of repeated enviormental issues
Megan W June 08, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I am happy to hear this news. It's true that our parks need maintenance but I don't think it's as dire as the previous comment suggests. Also this is a small space right next to an area that is becoming quite busy and it should be fairly easy to keep it clean and safe with cooperation and help from neighboring businesses. I think the city should be very thoughtful about what kind of structures they put in to avoid graffiti and trash accumulating and rather then put in some generic play structures they should focus on shade trees and paths and native plants. Soft playscape rather then playground. I have children and live in the area and we look forward to this transformation. As for the pricetag: I think it requires environmental cleanup so much of the money will go to do this. It is a shame and a waste but instead of blaming the city blame the oil companies and gas stations that profit off these spaces, make them environmentally unsafe and then abandon them when they are no longer profitable. We should demand that corporations revert land back to the state they found it rather then make tax payers pay for the clean up.
krd June 08, 2013 at 12:56 PM
I like the space the way it is. And the 2 unused driveways each provide 2 extra parking spaces. Why must every empty slot be developed to attract even more people to an area that isn't ready for that onslaught of attention it already has?
Gil June 08, 2013 at 02:16 PM
Parks are in dire need of attention. go checkem out 1.Park: Arroyo drive, Ave 60( no running water, no working bathrooms, tagging everywhere and playground, benches, and trees.) -2.Park at Mariom way &,Ave 64 (no running water, no working bathrooms, sprinkler leaks everywhere) 3.Park: San Pascual park no drinking water, Bathrooms are full of tagging, sprinkler leaks everywhere . these are just a few neglected parks. I'm all for new open space. but city continues to build parks while neglecting others. makes no sense
WU TANG FAN June 08, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Just what the area needs: Another place for Gangbangers, Taggers, and Transients to hang out .
Hooper Humperdink June 08, 2013 at 08:05 PM
WTF is wrong with you people?! This is a great place for a public park.
Mary L Gomez June 08, 2013 at 08:41 PM
I am abt 3 blocks away from this site..a park on a busy at times noisy street...no ty..i prefer my quiet backyard....totally agree with Gil...Parks we do have ARE in dire need or improvements...so one more small public park..for who i wonder...same ppl who been sitting on the "parklet" i guess..lol
eaglerocker June 09, 2013 at 01:19 AM
I'm with Josef -- y'all are cray-cray. You get a free park, and all you can do is complain? Read the article. The money comes from a state grant that can't be used for upkeep of other parks. If you don't want improvements like this in Highland Park, please go ahead and tell Huizar to spend his money elsewhere -- like in Eagle Rock, where we like nice things.
EagleRockMom June 09, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Where would such park space be available on Colorado Boulevard?
charlie June 09, 2013 at 03:28 PM
A park would be great, as long as it is done tastefully. And like a previous poster mentioned, not like the regualr hardscape crap that will be ugly and unusable (parklet comes to mind). Softscape, with local vegetation, and good design. I guarantee there is at east one outdoor designer who wold probably design this for free just so the neighborhood can escape the cycle of unusable space and give back to the neighborhood! The parklet design and implementation was a total bust and scares me about this park. How can we as residents be involved in this process?
charlie June 09, 2013 at 03:42 PM
by the way, what are the plans? how about a story on what they actually plan to do. let's see that!
Hooper Humperdink June 09, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Charlie - the parklette is "unusable"?! What planet are you on home skillet. On 2nd Saturdays it is a hub of lounging, conversation, and activity. On normal Sundays it is the site of people just sitting down and relaxing for a few minutes. What are expecting? An interactive multi-media display and aquatic center in 1.5 parking spaces worth of space? Good grief. Parks are not always "nature". Introducing nature into the middle of the city creates just as many, if not more problems than it solves. We need well-kept and designed formal spaces with trees and plants and places to sit on York Blvd. Those types of investments in public space create the social capital (people get together and exchange ideas, make friends) that makes city life so productive and enjoyable.
charlie June 09, 2013 at 10:36 PM
So your point is, one night out of the month, it is useable. I haven't seen one person use it otherwise. Just my, and many other people's experience. And are you also defending the design of it? Do you honestly think it will last? Doesn't look like it to me. I'm not against a parklet. I'm against the ugliness and not so daily usefulness of this one.
Jennifer M. June 09, 2013 at 10:37 PM
We live close by and we are excited about having a park within walking distance. We were at the presentation on Saturday and there was a group of designers and a place where anyone could write down their suggestions for what they wanted to see at the park. If you missed it I'm guessing you could call Jose Huizar's office and they would fill you in on the details.

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