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L.A. River Advocates Request Planning Commission to Deny NBC Universal Evolution Plan

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NBC/Universal Evolution Plan

[UPDATED 9/28: NBC/Universal Evolution Plan gets approval via L.A. Daily News]

Community and environmental groups are requesting that the City Planning Commission deny the NBC/Universal Evolution Plan during a hearing to be held this Thursday.

In a joint letter sent to the Planning Commission today, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, Mujeres de la Tierra, North East Trees, The Trust for Public Land, Urban Rivers Institute, and Urban Semillas contend that the Evolution Plan is "inconsistent with the City and County River Master Plans, other elements of the City's General Plan, and recently adopted Senate Bill 1201," further requesting that the Plan be sent back and revised.

Both the City and County Master Plan call for a pedestrian/bikeway along the south bank of the L.A. River from Lankershim Boulevard to Barham Boulevard. This stretch of the river forms the northern border of the property slated for development as part of the Evolution Plan -- which in its current state would essentially privatize and cut off the river from forming a continuous greenway all the way to Los Feliz and beyond.

The Evolution Plan -- which includes 1.45 million square feet of studio and office space, a 327,000 square foot theme park, and two 500-room hotels -- is also not consistent with Senate Bill 1201, signed this past August by Governor Jerry Brown. This bill requires the river to be used for recreational and educational purposes, as long as it is not inconsistent with its purposes for flood control.

The groups recommend that the Planning Commission require the Evolution Plan to incorporate plans for a 12-17 feet-wide pedestrian/bikeway along the portion of the river affected by the development.

"The creation of a greenway along the L.A. River is clear adopted City, County, and State policy," concludes the letter, signed by representatives from the nine organizations stated above. "Without the incorporation of the greenway in the Evolution Plan, that goal cannot be realized -- and indeed -- would be frustrated."

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