Urgent Action Item!

 

Please take just a few minutes to support our effort to: 1) prevent the construction of a three-story parking garage within the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve; and 2) replace an existing parking lot with native habitat to support wildlife.

Please review the factual information below and then send an e-mail message to fgc@fgc.ca.gov that includes “Support for Petition #2017-002” in the subject line and which, in your own words, briefly expresses your support for restoring non-reserve related parking lots within the ecological reserve back to natural habitat, and also your opposition to the construction of a three-story parking garage in the same area for primarily non-reserve related use. Please add landtrust@ballona.org in the BCC line so that we have a sense of how many have responded. Thank you!

Key Facts:

1) The existing parking lot was built prior to the acquisition of the state-owned ecological reserve, and was only allowed to remain in the reserve pursuant to a special regulations change added in 2005. That regulation reads as follows:

(F) Existing parking areas under leases to the County of Los Angeles may be allowed unless it is determined by the department that restoration or other uses in those areas are more appropriate.

2) Our petition (#2017-002), which will be heard by the Fish and Game Commission at its June meeting, seeks to remove that special regulation, because there is no question that restoration and other uses (such as nature education) are more appropriate. The Land Trust has offered to assume (and even increase) the existing lease payments to the state, and to create an educational native garden on the site.

3) The existing lot runs on a month to month lease. When the regulation was added, it was the expectation of both the state and the public that the restoration project would soon be undertaken. However, the restoration planning process officially began years behind schedule and has taken years longer than planned. It is now time for the County to use its own, under-utilized parking areas across the street from the reserve, so that the public can benefit from the land that California taxpayers purchased for natural habitat, not commercial and County agency parking.

4) The existing parking lot is used primarily by employees of commercial shops and restaurants in Fisherman’s Village across the street from the ecological reserve. A secondary use is for vehicles and employees of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors. Both of these uses are unrelated to, and incompatible with, the purpose for which California taxpayers purchased this land over a decade ago.

5) Vehicles and office trailers of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which occupy a small section of the parking lot, would continue to be allowed, as would any other parking uses directly related to the management or use of the ecological reserve.

For additional information, you can view our petition to the Fish and Game Commission at the link below:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-y1V3mUqBDXX1g1ZTBKZEFnaGc

This is very important and your assistance is greatly appreciated! Please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at landtrust@ballona.org with any questions.

The Ballona Wetlands Land Trust Team