Legislator pushes plan to revitalize Los Angeles River

LAKEWOOD – Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) on Wednesday introduced Assembly Bill 530 to spur much-needed revitalization of the lower portion of the L.A. River. The bill will establish a local working group tasked with updating the Los Angeles River Master Plan. “The L.A. River should represent more than just a filming location for television shows and movies,” Rendon said. “Communities should have the opportunity to reconnect with the river that flows through their neighborhoods and engage with the natural environment around them.”

AB 530 would authorize the Secretary of Natural Resources, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, to appoint a local working group to develop a revitalization plan for the Lower River, just as the Upper River has.

“Neighborhood parks and green spaces are vital elements to the quality of life of urban communities,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis. “I look forward to working with Assemblyman Rendon to ensure state, local governments, and the L.A. County family are collaborative partners on Lower L.A. River revitalization efforts.”

Since Los Angeles County adopted a Master Plan for the entire Los Angeles River in 1996, the City of Los Angeles has done substantial work on developing a revitalization plan for the Upper L.A. River within the city’s boundaries.

The Lower River plan would be consistent with and designed to enhance the County’s Master Plan for the entire river.

“After almost two decades, the time has come to update the L.A. River Master Plan to focus more attention and resources on the Lower L.A. River,” Rendon said. “AB 530 starts a conversation about how to improve the Lower River in concert with the revitalization of the Upper River so that the entire river watershed can be managed collaboratively.”

The working group would be eligible for funding through water bond funds approved by California voters in 2014. The bond authorized funding for the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, which has responsibility for the Lower River and would staff the proposed working group, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which has responsibility for the Upper River.

“Revitalizing the Lower L.A. River for Southeast communities is a conversation that is long overdue,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), co-author of AB 530. “With new funding available through the recent water bond, we have a unique opportunity to develop the river into a resource that local communities can enjoy and be proud of for generations to come.”

Assemblyman Anthony Rendon is serving in his second term representing the 63rd Assembly District, which includes the cities and communities of Bell, Cudahy, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, North Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, and South Gate.



Published: Feb. 26, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 46