Issues with BRE's Wilshire / La Brea Development
The block on the southeast corner of La Brea Ave and Wilshire Boulevard
(map) has been going downhill
for some time, in spite of having
bank building and a classic art deco car dealership (now a strip mall).
The back of the block was townhouses until the '50s, but was replaced
large parking lot, which is now rather seedy looking.
BRE Properties, a large
California developer, purchased the entire block around 2007, and
is driving forward with plans for a 500 unit plus retail development.
The project has its own web site.
Environmental Impact Report
Final Environmental Impact Reports are available online.
(The Final one is short because it just refers to the Draft one; you have to look at both.)
Draft EIR Comments
The project had a public meeting for comments on the Draft EIR.
The public comments and BRE's responses to those comments are online as part of the Final EIR.
BRE's response to each comment was generally to restate it and then explain
why it didn't matter. Often, BRE said that the comment was simply a
personal opinion offered without supporting evidence, and as such,
should be ignored.
One of the concerns expressed in the comments was that there might be insufficient water supply for this development.
Will Los Angeles also have to stop new developments because of its seriously overburdened water supply?
- In June, 2008, California officially declared a statewide drought, and called for aggressive water conservation measures.
- In April, 2009, The Metropolitan Water District, which provides 40% of Los Angeles's water,
announced mandatory conservation measures to take effect in July 2009, and called for cities to implement extraordinary conservation measures.
From November 2007 to at least October 2008 and possibly later, the Antelope Valley (just north of LA) had to
halt all new developments
due to lack of water. (See page 5 of "California Planning and Development Report, October, 2008".)
In May 2009, David Nahai, LADWP General Manager, said that
three years of drought, cutbacks in state water allocations and rationing
and its $500-million dust-mitigation project at Owens Lake have left
the agency trying to cope with
"a seriously overburdened water supply".
The sections of the EIR dealing with water supply are:
Problems from existing homeowners' point of view:
- The LADWP's "Water Supply Assessment" for this project is dated May 2007, and is based on the 2005 UWMP, both of
which predate the govenor's declaration of a statewide drought.
The EIR's assertion that "adequate water supplies exist to serve the project" is thus based on outdated information, and needs to be reevaluated.
- Likewise, the FEIR was prepared before the general manager of the LADWP declared that the water supply is seriously overburdened,
and before the new mandatory water cutbacks were imposed. I
- It does not seem fair for existing residents to have to give up watering their gardens
so huge developments containing large numbers of new residents can be built.
- The LADWP is under court order to give back
water to Mono Lake until its level rises to
6392 feet about sea level.
The lake is currently at 6382 feet.
Since the lake is about 44000 acres in size, LADWP owes the lake about 440,000 acre-feet
of water - about two-thirds of the city's annual usage!
Shouldn't we finish paying back our debts before we agree to take on additional water users?