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Less Cars More Housing

April 22, 2008

On Saturday, I came across a flyer for a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, April 30 for a proposed development to be known as the Highland Park Transit District. (Not to be confused with the Highland Park Transient District down along the Arroyo, although the proposed housing would effectively displace the homeless that live in these particular lots.) The proposal in simplest terms, plans to use the land currently owned by the city of Los Angeles, and used as three city parking lots, to build a series of 4 and 5 story condo /apartment buildings with underground public parking.

The developers are right on with the naming of this project: Highland Park Transit District. From the time when there were four rail lines running though town; to today, with the Goldline, the 81, 83, 256, and DASH buses all converging at Avenue 57, this area of Highland Park is the transit hub for the region. From an environmentalist perspective, anytime you can maximize housing around transit, you’re that much closer to reducing carbon emissions, and the dependence on cars. As a neighboring homeowner, a project at this level improves the overall property value while offsetting the usual traffic concerns by utilizing the already built-in public transit. Though, I am concerned that if the dollar price for 10 hour parking is increased by the construction of underground parking, unlimited, and free parking on my avenue will be impacted.

There already is a lively discussion over at York Blvd. regarding the design plans. Showing a preview of what we can expect regarding what looks to be the largest development since the Highland Park HPOZ was established. On the drive home with my wife, I remarked to her in passing the lots about the design plans, and her knee jerk reaction was simple: “More drug dealing!” This, after she saw a drug deal go down this past weekend, on the very corner where the development is planned. Her perspective is one where more density equals more of the inherited problems that Highland Park has. Which is where this could go, if its not planned effectively.

Unfortunately, this development would permanently crush any of my own plans for hosting a rodeo behind Mr. T’s. Yet it would at the same time solve some of the problems associated with those parking lots, namely the dumping, homeless camping, and taggers that just have names, but not enough talent for the lot walls.

I do think this would be a desirable improvement to our central neighborhood, and look forward to a community-based decision regarding the development. That being said, it would have been a courteous, seeing that this is all planned within a block of my property, to have been notified about the Design Workshop, rather than happen across one of these flyers at Antigua.

Highland Park Transit Village
Design Workshop
Wednesday, April 30th, 6PM
Highland Park Ebell Club
131 South Avenue 57
Los Angeles, CA 90042

One Comment leave one →
  1. transit permalink
    April 26, 2008 3:14 am

    Unfortunately I agree with your wife, More density= more drugs and we all know what comes with it…For us folks who have grown up here we seen the developers in the 70′ and 80′ tear down single family homes on large parcels and build mega apartments…would you like me to identify a few of these sites?

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