GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009

Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Full circle: Griffith Vision Plan loaded with pet projects

UPDATE 1-8-14:

The Commission passed the document as a "Vision" for Griffith Park after a very long discussion as to whether LaBonge's last-minute pet project capital additions now force the document to undergo full CEQA before a vote by the Commission. The Commission reiterated the vote was on a "Vision" and that they were not declaring this a Specific plan or General plan or any other kind of plan.

The Commission also instructed Rec and Parks to return the image of P-22 to the cover of the document.


Tomorrow, at the final meeting of the majority of the board, the Recreation and Parks Commission will vote to approve a new Griffith Park Vision Plan.

This process was originally initiated by an angry public fighting commercialization of the park. Unfortunately, it is painfully clear that the process has again been entirely co-opted by the exact same City Councilmember and is filled with his pet projects.

The very first published article here on Wayist was a July 2009 story about this issue :
According to a letter sent to Master Plan Working Group (GPMPWG) members, the new draft Griffith Park Master Plan is being downgraded to a simple "vision" for the park. Insiders know that this is not a move by the Department of Recreation and Parks (DRP), but is clearly at the behest of Councilman Tom LaBonge. The GPMPWG is expected to review the major edits by the department and LaBonge, and provide a final edit in just two weeks.

Since the document is a vision of a broad based group of community members and developed through a lengthy and very public process, the document certainly qualifies as a true Master Plan. It's a good guess that the attack on the process is being driven by the councilmember since the document does not represent the vision of Tom LaBonge and his developer friends. LaBonge tried to force destination restaurants, pleasure piers, and cable cars into the previous version of the Master Plan. LaBonge's version was resoundingly hated and panned by the public at large.

After nearly 7 8 years, the almost comical reality is that you don't have to read past page 5 of the new version to see that things have sadly come full circle: the very same man has inserted more of his controversial pet legacy projects into this Vision Plan at the 11th hour. Some are as ridiculous as a permanent "Griffith Park Movie Night", some as illegal as building new, unnecessary construction in the Urban Wilderness area (per the historic monument designation.)

The document's cover was also recently changed by someone, adding to the ironic amusement. P-22, the famous Griffith park Mountain Lion, was recently removed from the images.

Now, although the plan boldly proclaims itself as "VISION PLAN FOR GRIFFITH PARK -- AN URBAN WILDERNESS IDENTITY", all of the pictures are of carnival-like rides and the built sections of the park, mocking the overall vision itself.

The Commission will easily pass this nonsense tomorrow as their going-away present to LaBonge.

The one saving grace, if you can believe it, is that this is a Vision Plan and not a Master Plan. The difference?  Supposedly, there are no capital projects in a Vision Plan.

So what happens to the pet capital projects inserted into the Vision Plan by LaBonge? Hopefully, they simply rot.