Rio de Los Angeles State Park would never have been realized without the collective work and will of the surrounding communities, river activists and conservation groups. The fulfillment of the park master plan means extending the park to the banks of the Los Angeles River, with the acquisition of Taylor Yard’s 44-acre Parcel G2.
Now we need YOUR help to ensure that Parcel G2 is not, instead, developed into an industrial site.
For river activists, Taylor Yard – a former Union Pacific railyard with over two miles of historic Los Angeles River frontage near downtown Los Angeles - has always represented the brass ring. It is the largest undeveloped parcel on the LA River, presenting extraordinary opportunities for river restoration, stormwater detention, recreational resources and economic revitalization for the densely populated, underserved adjacent communities.
In 2001, The Coalition for a State Park at Taylor Yard, organized by The River Project, filed a successful legal action against the City of Los Angeles, the Union Pacific Railroad, and Lennar Partners, to prevent a 650,000 sq. ft. industrial development at the site. Together, we advocated for a 100-acre urban park along the Los Angeles River that would meet recreational needs, connect the community to the River, and restore some of our fast-disappearing native habitat. California State Parks has committed to facilitating this integrated vision, which has since been widely adopted by numerous elected officials and government agencies.
After a decade of controversy, lawsuits and relentless community activism, phase one of Rio de Los Angeles State Park - the first new State Park in Los Angeles in a generation - opened to the public on Earth Day of 2007.
The Union Pacific Railroad has taken a phased approach to abandoning and selling off parcels of land at Taylor Yard. The State purchased 18 acres of riverfront when it became available in 2003. The railroad finally demolished the facilities at Parcel G2 in late 2009, but various factors have thus far complicated public acquisition.
Now, Trammell Crow Company has entered into a purchase option agreement with Union Pacific Railroad, with the stated intention of developing Parcel G2 for industrial use. Given that the site’s severe access constraints and its proximity to the park, the school, and the river would make developing anything other than open space very difficult, some have speculated that they plan to purchase the land, then sell to the state in order to realize a substantial, unearned profit. This purchase option expires at the end of 2011. (Trammell Crow has now extended their option through June of 2012.)
Therefore, members of the Coalition for a State Park at Taylor Yard and many new supporters have written a joint letter to Trammell Crow strongly urging them to immediately drop their purchase option.
Please help us make Trammell Crow understand that any intervention at Parcel G2 makes them a bad actor against communities and the environment of Los Angeles. Let them know you stand with the Coalition’s vision of Rio de Los Angeles State Park as a 100-acre urban oasis with 2 miles of River frontage.
We, the undersigned, strongly support the Coalition for a State Park’s vision of a 100-acre Rio de Los Angeles State Park that includes access to and restoration of adjacent riverfront lands.
This vision was developed through consensus, building largely on the results of community organizing and planning efforts dating back to the early 1990s, and has since been widely adopted by elected officials and government agencies from the local to the federal level.
Study after study has shown significant economic, environmental, and social benefits to creating park space and protecting land and water resources in disadvantaged communities.
We understand that Trammell Crow Company has stated their intention to exercise their purchase option on the riverfront Parcel G-2 at Taylor Yard and develop it for industrial use.
The Coalition has successfully sued to prevent industrial development of land at Taylor Yard and would not hesitate to do so again. This community has also seen a greedy developer purchase land at Taylor Yard with the sole intention of making an unearned profit at taxpayer expense, and we will not stand for that again.
For these reasons, we urge Trammell Crow to immediately abandon their purchase option on this critical Los Angeles River frontage at Parcel G-2. We hope you will agree that the long-term public benefits of protecting this key parcel far outweigh any short-term potential for financial gain that exercising your purchase option might provide.