Lots of buzz this week about a proposed ordinance to establish the Los Angeles River Improvement Overlay District. That’s a mouthful to say to Washington, “hey, Obama, where’s our money?”
Cash, authorized by Congress, is needed to complete an essential Corps study that analyzes the effects of ripping out lots of concrete. Currently, the last phase of the study is years behind schedule. Until it’s finished, Reyes’ river project can’t be completed.
He went to Washington last month to press his case.
Last week, both the L.A. Daily News and Curbed L.A. ran reports about the city council’s new-and-improved plan for waterfront development.
As Councilman Ed Reyes, who chair the council’s Ad Hoc River Committee, told the Daily News:
“This is the final step for us at the city to offer a map to developers on what the river can offer. It has taken us eight years to get to this point and we can use this as a way to convince the Obama administration to provide the funds to the Army Corps of Engineers to complete its study.”
The Army Corps has loosened up its river grip since the establishment of the Urban Waters Initiative in early summer, even going so far as to permit a pilot kayaking program, close to the Sepulveda Basin.
But, remember, even though the enforcement arms of the law, the LAPD and Griffith Park Rangers, have lightened up on handing out tickets, it’s still illegal to fly fish or even walk along the river’s bank, once you’re off the path.
And without the environmental impact statement, reshaping the river to echo what it once was ain’t gonna fly.
We’ll see where it goes, as Councilman Reyes’s office told Curbed L.A. that the council did not pass the final ordinance: “The Council approved a Note and File update report on the RIO. Final ordinance will come back to Council in approximately 3 months.”
See you on the river, Jim Burns