Over 65 neighbors and community leaders turned out yesterday for a design charrette at the former Fire Station 84 site in Woodland Hills. The charrette process is designed to ensure that the community’s vision is represented in the final project’s design. It was a great opportunity to hear from so many neighbors and community members about what they would like to see at the park, and to continue a productive dialogue with the residents about the future of their community.
Last month, I conducted a massive outreach effort to determine the future of the old fire station site—city owned property that is now vacant. Hundreds of people gave feedback, both from mailed and online surveys as well as in person. Dozens of community volunteers joined me and my staff for a series of neighborhood canvass efforts that involved door knocking and tabling at a local grocery store. Over 73% of respondents responded favoring a parklet or pocket park for the site.
Ramon Barajas, the Valley’s Superintendent of Maintenance Operations provided a preview of what a future park could look like including a ‘maintenance friendly’ park with amenities such as solar trash compactors and security features including auto-lock gates, security cameras and wrought iron fencing. Mature trees currently on the property will be kept and a future park could incorporate an homage to the previous use of the property as a Fire Station. Because of this parklet’s size, it is meant to be a walking-distance resource for the community, one that won't attract more traffic to the area.
I was pleased to see so many community members taking part in this collaborative effort to transform a blighted vacant property into a precious open-space and recreational resource. Thank you to all who participated, and I look forward to continuing to work together to realize the community’s vision.
See pictures from the charrette in the gallery below: