Winnetka residents slam plans for a pocket park near LA River
Carolyn Moran has lived in her house on Haynes Street in Winnetka since the 1970s. Some days she sees condoms and empty food containers along with toilet paper and human waste near an abandoned lot at 19941 W. Haynes St.
“I see children smoking weed and people having sex,” she said. “There are condoms and empty containers on the street. I see men bringing young women. I even took pictures of the toilet paper and urine in the field.”
The site, as relatively small as it is, has recently become the center of a growing controversy after Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield submitted a motion to turn the lot into a pocket park that would connect Haynes Street to the Los Angeles River.
The lot sits atop a ravine, which allows stormwater to flow into the river. A storm drain needs to be repaired and Blumenfield proposed to fix the drain and build a park along the way.
Now, Blumenfield is asking for input from the community to see if the project could find support among neighbors.
He’s definitely getting it.
A meeting held by Blumenfield on Thursday night at IAC Shepher Community Center drew about 70 residents, who voiced their concerns about the proposed park.
Several residents echoed Moran, saying they see drug addicts and the homeless near the site. Many said the tiny park might become a source of major problems.
Moran said she was concerned the park might attract unwanted traffic into her neighborhood.