The Blair Hills Association                                November, 2003                                Edited by Bobbi Gold


7:00 PM



During this past summer, the MTA met with the board of the Blair Hills Association regarding building a bus center yard on Jefferson Blvd between Higuera/Rodeo Road and National Blvd (closer to National Blvd than to Rodeo Rd.). This is a large parcel where busses would be stored when not in use. The board had many questions about aesthetics, noise, pollution, and traffic congestion. At this meeting, the MTA will provide further information about the project, having taken our concerns into account. Come hear what their current plans are.

Also, we will have an update on the status of the sewer tunneling project under Blair Hills. And the Park Ranger for the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook (the former Vista Pacifica project) will be present to answer our questions and concerns and to announce monthly open house "coffees" (see below).


Park Ranger Open House Coffees

The Park Rangers for the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook will hold an Open House and coffee at their office at 6330 Hetzler Road. This month's meeting will be November 8, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. (We're sorry we couldn't give you more notice and apologize if this newsletter reached you too late.) Future Open Houses will be monthly, but the exact schedule is not yet set. For more information on this or other matters, you can phone the Rangers at their office at (310) 558-4566.

Potential Grant for Blair Hills Park

The Culver City Parks and Recreation Department is applying for a grant from the Baldwin Hills Conservancy to build a community room and another picnic pavilion and to modernize the restrooms in Blair Hills Park.

Report: Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Public Workshop #2

The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is the new official name for the former Vista Pacifica site atop the hill just west of Blair Hills. The State purchased it in December, 2000, with the intention of incorpor­ating it in the gradually emerging Baldwin Hills State Park.

The State selected a consultant team to design appropriate plans for the site. In June, 2003, the consultant team, California State Parks and Baldwin Hills Conservancy sponsored the first public workshop to solicit public ideas for use of the property. Being very hilly, it is suitable more for hiking and contemplative activities rather than soccer and playground games.

The second public workshop was held October 4, 2003, to present the consultants' ideas for the site. The team presented three alternatives concept plans. They were basically the same in that they envisioned that non-native plants would be removed and the site would be restored with native vegetation that existed in this area around the year 1650, before the arrival of Europeans and their animals, bringing foreign plants and seeds. Oaks and toyon would be used as a buffer next to residential areas. Hiking trails would be constructed. All three concept plans would provide for a visitor center/ refreshment facility/ staff offices complex, and an access road and parking areas. The visitor center complex would be partially built into the hill, to lessen the visual impact. The access road and parking areas would be located on the western edge of the site, in an area which is less visible from above or below. Permeable paving would be used in the parking areas, to reduce runoff from rain, an environmental plus.

The primary difference in the three alternatives is the location of the visitor center complex. The possibilities were: (1) halfway up the hill on the north side of the hill; (2) at the top of the hill, and

(3) somewhat downslope from the hilltop, on the southwest side of the parcel. The design team solicited comments from the workshop attendees and will use them to create a single, preferred plan. Most attendees seemed to prefer the third alternative because it would have the least adverse visual impact overall.

The lead consultant for the consulting team is Safdie Rabines Architects. Other team members are a landscape architect, habitat restoration, economist, civil engineer, structural engineer, traffic engineer, and geotechnical and cost consultants.

A third public workshop is planned, tentatively in December. Blair Hills residents will especially want to discuss perimeter issues- that is, preventing undesirable consequences from the park affecting adjacent residences. Please attend this third workshop so we can insist that these issues be resolved properly. A notice will be mailed.

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