For Immediate Release: February 1, 2022
COUNCILMEMBERS RAMAN AND BLUMENFIELD INTRODUCE MOTION TO CENTER COMMUNITY ACCESS AND RIVER RESTORATION IN SEPULVEDA BASIN VISION PLAN
LOS ANGELES -- Yesterday, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion, co-presented by Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and seconded by Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martínez, to update the scope of work for the Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan Project to focus on accessibility and environmental conservation. Currently under development, the Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan aims to establish a long-term strategic plan for the future of the Basin. Councilmember Raman and Blumenfield’s motion instructs the City’s Bureau of Engineering to ensure that the Vision Plan employs nature-based solutions in the redevelopment of the Sepulveda Basin, focusing on floodplain reclamation, watershed restoration, and revitalizing the ecosystem functions of the river, while at the same time expanding access to the parkland and its amenities for surrounding communities.
Encompassing over 2,000 acres and nearly eight miles of the Los Angeles River and its tributaries, the Sepulveda Basin is the second largest open space in the City of Los Angeles and serves as a regional asset for the entire San Fernando Valley. It is also a biodiversity hotspot with a wildlife reserve and natural sections of the Los Angeles River, providing a critical habitat for many native plants and animals. On November 18, 2022, the Board of Public Works selected a consulting team to execute the development of a world-class Vision Plan for the Sepulveda Basin.
“The Sepulveda Basin is such a unique area in Los Angeles, and one that is incredibly important to the surrounding communities,” said Councilmember Raman. “Through this Vision Plan, we have the opportunity to create a vibrant central park for the entire San Fernando Valley, which can then serve as a blueprint for upgrading the City’s many other open spaces to ensure equitable community access while mitigating climate change and restoring our precious natural ecosystems.”
"The Sepulveda Basin is an important environmental and recreational asset for the entire San Fernando Valley. With robust community participation, the City can develop a Vision Plan that maximizes the potential of the Basin not only for current Angelenos, but for generations to come,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. “As a long-time advocate for the Los Angeles River, I am especially excited about the opportunity to transform the Sepulveda Basin so that it joins Griffith Park as a crown jewel in the 51-mile necklace of parks and paths along the River."
“The Sepulveda Basin could be the Central Park of the San Fernando Valley, while capturing, storing, and cleaning stormwater, and saving lives from the extreme heat and super floods heading our way,” said California State Senator Henry Stern (D-27). “I applaud the city of LA for thinking bigger about what the Basin can be. I am committed to bringing the knowhow and resources of the State to the table to help achieve this bigger vision.”
Raman and Blumenfield’s motion directs the Bureau of Engineering, with assistance from the Department of Recreation and Parks, the Department of Sanitation’s Biodiversity Team, the Department of Transportation, and any other City departments, to update the scope of work and budget, as needed, for the Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan Project per certain criteria. These include ensuring that the plan improves and expands access and mobility to and within the Basin, employs nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change, protects and expands wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and proposes strategies to protect the affordability and social fabric of surrounding communities.
The motion additionally asks for a report back within 30 days on the State, Federal, and private grants, programs, and partnerships that may be available to help plan and fund the redevelopment and ecological restoration of the Sepulveda Basin, as well as recommendations for the establishment of a Park Advisory Board, similar to the Griffith Park Advisory Board, to provide guidance and stewardship for the Sepulveda Basin going forward.