BRING BACK SOUTH CENTRAL FARM
BRING BACK SOUTH CENTRAL FARM
Residents of South Central Los Angeles are disproportionately burdened by environmental impacts associated with industrial developments. The former site of the South Central Farm is the largest undeveloped, industrially zoned parcel in the city (14 acres). For decades, it has been sought after by developers, proposing projects that would further contaminate air quality and threaten residents’ health. The community has successfully fought these projects, from a trash incinerator (LANCER SITE) in the 1980s, to industrial warehouses for Forever 21 in the early 2000s, to the current fight to stop four industrial warehouses.
The South Central Farm emerged in the wake of the LA uprising of 1992. The looting of food exposed the food insecurity that many South Central residents suffer from. In July 1994 the Harbor Department granted a revocable permit to the L.A. Regional Food Bank a private, nonprofit food-distribution network housed across the street to occupy and use the site as a community farm.
The city originally only allocated 7 acres for the project, but the necessity for families to grow their own organic food was so big it jumped onto the other 7 acres, thus creating the largest Urban Farm in the nation (14 Acres) know as the South Central Farm.
On June 13, 2006, our community was forcefully removed from the South Central Farm. 45 community members were arrested. It was a sad day for our elders, for our children, and for our community. Since 2012 PIMA Alameda Partners, LLC, a clothing conglomerate (Poetry, Impact Mfg., Miss Me, Active Basic USA) have been trying to develop four industrial warehouses on the historic South Central Farm site. What has the community done? They have mobilized and organized to fight this development that will increase bad air quality and negatively impact local residents.
Community stakeholders have been actively fighting this development. On April 20, 2017 CD 9 residents and the South Central Farm Restoration Committee filed a lawsuit against The City of LA & PIMA Alameda Partners LLC. We challenged The City of Los Angeles CEQA process. The City violated CEQA when it refused to hear the appeal of the project, rather then just reviewing the adequacy of the CEQA. The Environment Impact Report (EIR) fails to fully address how this project will impact the immediate CD9 residents.
On November 13, 2018, the Judge ruled that the City of LA and P.I.M.A Alameda Partners LLC need to redo and recirculate the Environmental Impact Report and the community will be able to comment on it once it's published. The City Council and PLUM Committee will vote on whether to proceed with the project in light of its environmental impacts.
The South Central Farm Restoration Committee aims to promote the establishment and preservation of green and open space in South Los Angeles, a community where green and open space is woefully rare, as well as promote urban farming, public health and effective participation in the planning of developments that intimately affect every one of the residents that reside nearby. We currently support the efforts of South Central Los Angele residents in challenging the City of Los Angeles and PIMA Alameda Partners LLC
The South Central Farm Restoration Committee is proposing an alternative development that would alleviate the area’s park shortage and provide an active focal point for community activities, organic food production and social gathering. With the help of professor Ray Senes and 5 students from UCLA, who took our ideas and vision to create the re-envisioning of the South Central Farm which can be used as a model and be replicated across the nation!! We want to create a Hybrid Park/Urban Farm/ Food Hub/ Compost Hub in an area that needs more green space, green jobs, food justice, clean air, and equity. We also want to incubate food entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to be profitable business owners.
Why this land you might ask? Did you know that the land located on 41st and Alameda has a historical legacy of South Central residents fighting Environmental Racism? Did you know that this land is one of the largest undeveloped piece of land in the city of Los Angeles? 14 acres of undeveloped land is rare in our City. Why you should care?
We are proposing a development that will bring resources back into our neighborhood. We want to purchase the land and put it into a neighborhood land trust. We want to invest in our youth and create economic development that supports our local economy. It's time for community investment and equity. Tell the Los Angeles City Council, the PLUM committee, the mayor of LA and Council member Curren Price that you support the restoration of the largest Urban farm in the national #southcentralfarm. No To PIMA Alameda Partners LLC. Yes to Clean Air, Park Equity, Green Jobs, Food Justice, Food Entrepreneurship a Community Investment.
REFERENCE Press Release: August 11, 2018
South Central Farm Wins Court Decisions Against Proposed New Development on Former Urban Land
The South Central Farm Restoration Committee, CD9 resident plaintiffs, supporters and activist are hailing yesterday’s court victory in Ponce vs. the City of Los Angeles and P.I.M.A. Alameda Partners, LLC (a clothing conglomerate; Poetry, Impact Mfg., Miss Me, Active Basic USA) as a major step towards more honest and accurate environmental analysis for new development in Los Angeles - and towards new urban agriculture, food security, better air quality, and economic self-reliance in South Central Los Angeles.The South Central Farm Restoration Committee had challenged the City’s traffic and air pollution analysis for a new warehouse/distribution center proposed by PIMA at 41st/Alameda, the site of the former 14-acre South Central Farm. In response, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfont found that the City of Los Angeles did not conduct an adequate environmental analysis of the cumulative traffic impacts of other proposed developments in the Project study area, and ordered the City to revise its Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
“The City’s methodology for considering cumulative impacts of new development is fundamentally flawed”, stated Mitchell Tsai, attorney for the plaintiffs. “Instead of considering the potential cumulative impacts of only five already approved new developments in the project study area,” Tsai added, “Los Angeles needed to have considered the potential impacts of up to 82 projects already filed with the City in the project study area, but not yet approved. This kind of glaring omission grossly understates potential negative environmental impacts of new proposed development in the region, and is one reason why traffic, pollution and congestion are such endemic problems in much of Los Angeles.” At the same time members of the South Central Farm Restoration Committee see an opportunity to re-establish the South Central Farm on the site, as a result of the court’s ruling.
“Environmental Impact Reports are all about analyzing trade-offs”, said Rosa Romero, Program Director at the Urban Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. “This extended EIR process gives the Los Angeles City Council more time to consider issues of social equity and environmental justice regarding this historic parcel of land. We think when this is done, restoring the South Central Farm is the clear, best alternative for the site.”
“When the South Central Farm site was an urban farm, it provided 14 acres of local open green space, fed 350 families on a regular basis, and provided local economic reliance and food security for the community - objectives specifically called out for this area in the City’s Open Space and Conversation Element of its General Plan.” adds Alberto Tlatoa.
“Today in a part of Los Angeles where traffic is failing and pollution is at already dangerous levels, the City should be looking at steps to mitigate that overall crisis by taking transformative actions like restoring the Farm, not exacerbating the environmental crisis with yet another warehouse.”
Because the background traffic and pollution in the project study area is already so severe, approval of the warehouse/distribution center would require a legal statement of ‘overriding considerations’, stating that the economic benefits of the project outweigh the environmental damage.
“Since this large 14-acre site remains unpaved and undeveloped and because there are donors ready to pledge to purchase the land and preserve it as a land trust to meet to community need for and urban farm and food hub. There is no basis for the Los Angeles City Council to approve such a statement of overriding considerations to allow the warehouse project to move ahead, when there are so many social, environmental, health and economic benefits to restoring the Farm -- and when PIMA could utilize those funds to purchase and rehabilitate another already paved/developed site, stated Laura Palomares, South Central Farm Restoration Committee Member.
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About the South Central Farm Restoration Committee: The SCF Restoration Committee formed with the intention to buy back the farm. Our goal is to secure the farm as a land trust and protect one of the last and largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land in Los Angeles County.