Preserving and protecting the Santa Susana Mountains and Simi Hills of Southern California
Watch Center: for Chatsworth Park South Reopening
As of March, 2013, there was finally a Cleanup / Reopening Plan for
Chatsworth Park South
UPDATE #44: March 28, 2017: (days closed 3,329)
WEATHER DELAYS CHATSWORTH PARK SOUTH REMEDIATION
The remediation work at Chatsworth Park South (started April 2016) was apparently going well. As of the end of 2016 the city was hopeful that work would be complete about mid-February 2017, and that a re-opening ceremony might be feasible to mark the ninth anniversary of the closing of the park.
Then the rains came. The downpours of December and January not only slowed the pace of work, but also caused considerable damage to much of the exposed, not-yet-stabilized land. Apparently, a significant amount of rework, repair, and replanting would be needed.
That rework is not yet complete and the City declines to estimate when it might be done. Some events at the adjacent Homestead Acre have had to be cancelled due to access and parking obstacles, including the Chatsworth Historical Society's annual Garden Festival. And it is concerning to SSMPA that the pace of the rework seems very slow so far.
See this excellent drone video created by Chatsworth resident Larry Wolff
UPDATE #41: June 11, 2016: (days closed 3,039)
Of special interest to SSMPA is the task of effectively re-connecting trails within Chatsworth Park South (CPS) with trails in the 670-acre Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, which surrounds CPS.
SSMPA however is not aware of details regarding the upcoming construction of trail connections, nor is California State Parks aware. In the interest of advance planning, SSMPA suggests that LADRP and California State Parks come together to define details:
how many connections, locations, which trails, hiking, equestrian, multi-use?
physical configuration of gateways through the new perimeter fence
Read SSMPA's request to City Department of Recreation and Parks to contact California State Parks HERE
UPDATE #39: May 20, 2016: (days closed 3,017)
REMEDIATION UNDERWAY AT CHATSWORTH PARK SOUTH
Remediation will be accomplished primarily by hauling in approximately 2,500 truckloads of materials (aggregate and clean soil) to serve as a one-foot cap over the soil that is contaminated with lead pellets and fragments of clay pigeons. Only some areas will have soil removed and hauled away.
City says work will be complete by end of 2016.
UPDATE #38: April 1, 2016: (days closed 2,968)
CONSTRUCTION IS STARTING AT CHATSWORTH PARK SOUTH
There are striking signs that remediation work is about to begin at Chatsworth Park South. After more than eight (8) years of closure, construction work seems to be starting up.
Remediation will be accomplished primarily by hauling in materials (aggregate and clean soil) to serve as a one-foot cap over the soil that is contaminated with lead pellets and fragments of clay pigeons. Only some areas will have soil removed and hauled away.
Remediation work may take up to a year to complete.
Groundbreaking event to be held by Council District 12 on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 10am to mark the beginning of remediation work.
UPDATE #37 Mar. 8, 2016: (days closed 2,944)
Remediation Project to Start...
Representatives of City Council District 12 recently told us that the remediation contractor will begin work in Chatsworth Park South in April 2016, and that the work could take approximately one year to complete.
Re-open in early 2017?
Remediation will be accomplished primarily by laying a one-foot cap of imported materials over the soil that is contaminated with lead pellets and fragments of clay pigeons. Only some areas will have soil removed and hauled away.
Remember these 2 adjacent parks have not been closed and are open for your use:
- Chatsworth Park NORTH: Take Chatsworth Street west almost to its end. Entrance to park is on the left.
- Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park: 670 acres, miles of trails, old stagecoach road. Take Devonshire Street west of Valley Circle one block to Larwin Avenue, turn left one half block to entrance on right, under the power lines. Or enter on Andora, just south of the entrance to Oakwood Cemetery
UPDATE #36: Jan. 4, 2016: (days closed 2,880)
UPDATE #35 Oct 30, 2015 (days closed 2,815):
Councilmember Mitchell Englander announced today he is delaying the start of remediation work at Chatsworth Park South "until spring." He did not specify spring of which year, but let's assume 2016.
See his statement to the left of this panel.
One begins to feel sorry for El Niño, el chivo expiatorio.
UPDATE #34 Sep 10, 2015 (days closed 2,765):
Latest unofficial word:
Remediation work to begin
October 2015, sometime after Pioneer Day at Homestead Acre (Oct. 4)
UPDATE #33 July15, 2015:
Council District 12 reported today:
Notice of Intent to Begin work expected end of
Expected duration of remediation work: ~14 months
UPDATE #32 June 18, 2015:
LA Rec & Parks Commissioners Just Approved Awarding of Contract for Remediation
Contract for capping the contamination at Chatsworth Park South will apparently be awarded to American Integrated Services
Next questions to be answered: When will work begin? When will park re-open?
UPDATE #31 May 14, 2015:
Still Waiting for City's Review of Contractors' Proposals to Be Completed
Although LA City Council District 12 has not been revealing details of progress lately, the Recreation and Parks Department is
- apparently continuing to review remediation proposals from contractors,
- designating a preferred contractor, and
- working toward a signed contract for performance of the remediation work.
UPDATE #30 FEB 27, 2015:
From Councilmember Mitchell Englander: "Term in Review" (page 25)
"Collaborated on Chatsworth Park South Contamination Cleanup -- Working with Department of Recreation & Parks, Chatsworth stakeholders and State Department of Toxic Substances Control to remediate lead and petroleum contamination at Chatsworth Park South. Final designs have been proved to re-open the park by 2015."
TO: Councilmember.Englander@lacity.org, Megan.Cottier@lacity.org, Millie.Jones@lacity.org, email@example.com
The number of days remaining until Chatsworth Park South reopens. City officials from Council District 12 and from the Department of Recreation and Parks continue to assure us that remediation work at the park will be complete by
March of 2015, and the park will re-open soon after. This sounds like very good news!
Chatsworth Park South, of course, is the park at the far west end of Devonshire. The City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks, operates CPS. On February 14, 2008, over six years ago, the City closed the park to the public because of the discovery of contamination on some of the grounds from lead and other substances. (The property was used for skeet shooting activities about 50-60 years ago, before the land was acquired by the City and developed as a public park.)
After five years of little progress, in March of 2013, the City of Los Angeles presented a comprehensive plan for cleaning up Chatsworth Park South. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control approved the plan in July 2013. The plan calls for approximately 21 acres of the park’s 72 acres to be “remediated”, largely by capping the ground with twelve inches of screening, aggregate material, clean soil, and grass. More than 150 trees are to be removed, the ground graded, drainages sculpted, the cap applied, and new trees planted. Total cost will be about $7+ million.
Preliminary design plans have been completed and so has tree removal. Further work is expected to begin in the summer of 2014. City spokespersons are stating quite assertively that the work should be complete by spring of 2015, and we can expect Chatsworth Park South to re-open by the summer of 2015. The City is not revealing yet where they expect to get the remaining $6 million, but they seem confident that it will be available in time to meet the Summer 2015 re-opening target.
Recent tree removal: All tree removal activities were apparently completed in February. It appears that within the boundaries of the approximately 21-acre remediation area, all trees have been cut down except that all oak trees have been left in place, and at least one large sycamore (near the Recreation Center) has been preserved. Some native sycamores were felled, but most trees cut down were non-native trees such as eucalyptus, pines, etc.
Do not forget that Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, the 680-acre state park that surrounds the CPS city park, has been open during the closure of CPS and will remain open, with its miles of walking trails, including the Old Stagecoach Trail. Entrances at Larwin Avenue just south of Devonshire, near 9860 Andora Avenue, and 7700 Lilac Lane.
Mr. Paul Davis, Environmental Specialist at the LA Department of Recreation and Parks, stated in a public meeting today that the park cleanup and enhancement activities at Chatsworth Park South are on track to be complete by
April – June 2015. In other words, we can expect that the park will be re-opened by the summer of 2015.
Ms. Megan Cottier, Council District 12 Community Service Director, also stated that she was confident that funds to complete the work, some $6+ million, will be acquired in time to meet such a schedule. She did not say where the $$$ might come from.
The City of Los Angeles is pursuing $0.7 million of “Proposition K” monies to make some enhancements to Chatsworth Park South as the park is being remediated by the major, separate cleanup project.
Council District 12, in compliance with Prop K requirements, has appointed members to a Local Volunteer group to advise on specific enhancements. The group will consult at public meetings at 2:30pm at Mason Park on Wednesdays January 21, February 12, and February 26, 2014. The Local Volunteer group includes community members Bob Dager (SSMPA), Maureen Finan, Mary Kaufman, Lucia Montano, and Linda van der Valk.
This $0.7 million of “Proposition K” funds is over and above the approximately $6.5 million that must be secured to pay for the park remediation (contamination cleanup) project itself.
Mr. Juan Soto, Mason and Chatsworth Rec Center director, reports that there are no regularly scheduled programs at Chatsworth Rec Center
at this time. The staff are waiting for more information about when cleanup construction activities, which would disrupt scheduled activities,
Chatsworth Rec Center is being used, about 3-4 times a week, for miscellaneous activities and overflow activities from other Rec Centers.
Apparently on schedule!
- In the last 2 months we have selected an engineering and design contractor and developed a park concept for the approved cap
- The biological surveys and wetlands delineation required as mitigation measures in the Mitigated Negative Declaration were completed over the summer, and are ready for eventual project permitting.
- We currently anticipate approved plans and the award of a construction contract by Summer 2014, with the project completed and approved in
Chatsworth Park South Clean Up…
I'm pleased to announce that the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently approved the Removal Action Plan (RAP) prepared by City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation and Parks. This approval is a major milestone to the eventual re-opening of the park. The RAP addresses potential risks from conditions related to contamination at the site and evaluates and describes proposed mitigation plans. The approved mitigation measure addresses contaminated soil by "capping" the contamination with clean soil, removes contamination from scrub brush areas and preserves heritage trees.
The park was closed in 2008 when lead pellets and other contaminants were discovered at the site that were left behind from when the property was used as a skeet shooting range in the 1960s. The City purchased the property and turned it into a public park in 1978.
My office has worked closely with the DTSC and Recreation and Parks to ensure the clean-up moves forward as quickly as possible so the public can safely use and enjoy the park again. We intervened very shortly after the closure to have the Chatsworth Historical Society’s Museum and the cultural-historical monument Homestead Acre and Minnie Palmer Cottage examined and then re-opened for the public once it was found to be safe and free of contamination.
On of this year, we hit another major milestone in re-opening the park when we announced that the gym was available for use by the community. We identified funds in the budget to ensure that the gymnasium remains staffed in the next fiscal year.
For questions relating to Chatsworth Park South, please contact Ron Rubine at 818-882-1212. If you are interested in using the gym, please contact Recreation and Parks, Valley Region Headquarters at 818-756-8189.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember, Twelfth District
Good to see people enjoying one piece of the park again!
- Since the next budget cycle will be for 2014-2005, and the resulting budget will not go into effect until July 2014, and
- Since the duration of "actual construction" is estimated at a best case of 7 months: