Mayor's Initiative Includes 3 Parks for Hollywood

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announces parks are planned for Carlton Way, Mulholland/Laurel Canyon and La Mirada Avenue.

Three parks are in the works for Hollywood as part of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's "50 Parks Initiative."

With $80.9 million in public and private funding, the city has acquired 39 properties and opened three pocket parks. Fourteen more properties are in the purchase or lease negotiation phase.

"We have scouted the city, looked in the hidden corners and found the small parcels, the vacant lots and the weedy patches that would be perfect for neighborhood parks," Villaraigosa said at the official opening of 49th Street Park in South Los Angeles last Thursday.

"The 50 Parks Initiative is putting some much-needed nature in neighborhood after neighborhood," he said.

In Hollywood, the city is working with the Trust for Public Land, The Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles and the Mountains Recration & Conservation Authority to create the parks.

At Carlton Way Park, the city is creating a .19-acre pocket park, funded by Prop 84 Statewide Parks Program. It will cost about $1.26 million. It is in the design stage. The park will be located at 5927 Carlton Way.

At La Mirada Park, the city will create a .17-acre pocket park, funded by Prop 84 Statewide Parks Program. It will cost about $1.22 million. It is in the pre-design stage. The park will be located at 5401 La Mirada Avenue.

Also in the works, a park at Laurel Canyon/Mulholland. Plans call for a 6-acre park estimated to cost $1.5 million, which will be funded by Proposition K. It is in the acquisition stage.

The Department of Recreation and Parks in 2009 began a study using population density, median household income, poverty statistics and the number of parks within a one-half mile radius to determine the neighborhoods most in need of the parks.

South Los Angeles neighborhoods are slated to get 19 of the parks. The San Fernando Valley will get 13; Mid City, four; Hollywood and Los Feliz, five; San Pedro and the Harbor Gateway, three; downtown, three; Northeast L.A., three; Marina del Rey and Venice, two; and West L.A., one.

The parks will collectively add 170 acres of new recreation space, according to the mayor's office.

"In dense, urban communities throughout Los Angeles, there is a desperate need for more park space," Councilwoman Jan Perry said.

She called the 50 Parks Initiative "a unique opportunity for the city to address blight, green communities, and create neighborhood parks."

The pocket parks will include automatic gate-locking systems and solar-powered trash compactors to reduce maintenance costs by the cash-strapped Department of Recreation and Parks. The parks were also designed with so-called "no-mow" turf, drought-tolerant plants and LED lighting to keep water and energy costs down.

Many of the parks are located on properties that were left vacant as a result of the housing crisis and cannot be rehabilitated. The strategy works in concert with federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

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