A 20-year-old plan mapping the future of the LA River is getting an update. The County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to update the LA River Master Plan, called for by the board in 1991 and adopted five years later.
The update is in part meant to coordinate numerous ongoing efforts to revitalize the 51-mile body of water. “We want to avoid ‘plan-demonium,’” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in a press release. “This motion is designed to ensure that the LA River Master Plan engages all stakeholders and develops a unified vision that reflects the needs of all communities and includes all voices.”
Recently, the nonprofit group River LA—formerly the LA River Revitalization Corporation—turned heads when it was revealed that the organization had covertly hired architect Frank Gehry to rework the master plan. Some longtime river advocates saw the move as a developer-led attempt to co-opt the river’s future and throw out the years of community input that went into the original plan.
Now, county officials are evidently hoping those same advocates will work alongside River LA in crafting the revised plan. City News Service (via My News LA) reports that River LA director Omar Brownson spoke in support of the motion to revise the plan at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting.
“There are 17 city, county, state and federal jurisdictions that in some way disrupt the river’s flow,” he reportedly said. “This motion … is about hacking that system and bringing people together.”
In June, the LA City Council approved an extensive Army Corps of Engineers-led makeover of 11 miles of the river stretching from Griffith Park to Downtown. The restoration is expected to be completed over time, on a project-by-project basis, with an estimated city contribution of $980 million.