Politics Magazine

County Takes Input from Residents, Off-roaders on Littlerock OHV Park

Posted on the 22 November 2013 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

LITTLEROCK – Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation hosted its first public meeting Wednesday evening seeking public comment on a proposed Littlerock Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Park.

Residents and enthusiastic off-road advocates turned up in force at Jackie Robinson Park in Littlerock to hear for themselves how the county’s plans for a future OHV recreation park would possibly impact their surrounding communities.

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“This is the first really public meeting,” Melissa Erikson said, facing a gathering of 200 people or more. A senior associate at the land planning and analysis firm, The Planning Center, Erikson serves as a consultant to the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

“There’s no way we can hear from all of you unless we do these comment stations,” she explained, noting that the public would submit their input to county planners after the presentation. “Everything will be summarized, … and will also be posted on the county’s website.”

Erikson explained the advantages of planning an OHV park in Littlerock, saying the proposed 550 acres offers folks a lot of terrain to work with.

“It’s an area with the most OHV users in the county – which kind of makes sense,” she said, explaining that the County of Los Angeles has the highest number of registered OHV users in the state – as of 2007 data. “And it’s close to where people are already recreating.”

According to the Parks and Recreation fact sheet provided by Kathline King, the department’s Planning Division Chief, the proposed project site for the Littlerock Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Park would be located one-half mile east of the intersection of Cheseboro Road and Mount Emma Road on the south side of Mount Emma Road adjacent to the Angeles National Forest Service boundary.

In addition to the planned 550-acre recreation area, the county is planning a staging area at the park that would be 10 acres in size. A copy of the factsheet can be viewed online at file.lacounty.gov/dpr.

Erikson said the county has outlined a seven-part process to look at a proposed site’s feasibility, which includes the following: 1. identifying the potential site, 2. determining the appropriate park type, 3. evaluating if the site is compliant with guidelines for the type of park proposed, if so, 4. then continuing with the project concept design, which requires a feasibility review and comments from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 5. then determining if the concept is ‘design compliant’ with county guidelines, if so, 6. conducting a final design and environmental review (that should involve public input), and finally, 7. getting a final approval on the project from the board of supervisors.

Telling the public that the county is currently between steps three and four in the planning process, Erikson said planners are now beginning to look at the park’s feasibility.

“The county was successful in applying for a grant from the state,” she said. “The department has money for acquisition, but land has not been acquired.”

The OHV facility would be the county’s first. It has provided OHV recreation to off-road enthusiasts through land use agreements with the State Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division as well as the Angeles National Forest.

But with big prospects come big risks.

Planning consultant Melissa Erikson takes comments from residents on the county's proposed OHV park for Littlerock

Planning consultant Melissa Erikson takes comments from residents on the county’s proposed OHV park for Littlerock

Erikson illustrated a list of concerns regarding the proposed park. She said the county has held a variety of meetings with stakeholder groups in the last year and a half to look into the possibilities of other OHV sites.

“There were lots of comments about safety issues on a site,” she said, noting that consideration should be given to safety enforcement and fire prevention task forces. “So some of the recommendations that came up were looking at actually working with the Forest Service, working with the local fire prevention bureau, with the county fire station, (and) working with the (state) Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission.”

Other concerns outlined for the county from previous stakeholder groups included illegal dumping, vandalism and trespassing. Erikson suggested that the Parks Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, facebook.com/LASDParksBureau, would become an active participant in providing enforcement.

“It’s not just (about) the park,” she said. “A more significant legal presence is needed in the area that will be addressed as well.”

After the presentation, members of the public were asked to visit the comment stations set up in the room, where county personnel would record their input, then compile and post the remarks onto the county’s website at parks.lacounty.gov.

For more information – or to provide input – on the proposed Littlerock OHV Recreation Park, contact Park Planner Robert Ettleman of the Department of Parks and Recreation at 213-351-5134 or [email protected]


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By Michael L Griffin
posted on 25 November at 03:46

Finally found something on-line about what had happen at last Wednesday's meeting. Looks like things are on course, but it's going to take awhile for the wheels of government to get this park up and running. Stay tuned and keep an eye out for further updates.

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