Development Proposes Platform Over the Tujunga Wash at Victory Blvd

October 13, 2009 § 9 Comments

Site plan for The Plaza at the Glen proposed development. Tujunga Wash runs diagonally from the upper left to the lower center of the plan. Image from Dasher Lawless, Inc website. Click for larger version and additional images.

Site plan for The Plaza at the Glen proposed development. The unlabeled Tujunga Wash runs diagonally from the upper left to the lower center of the plan. Image from Dasher Lawless, Inc website. Click for larger version and additional images.

A 12.2-acre mixed use development called “The Plaza at the Glen” is proposed for both sides of the Tujunga Wash on the north side of Victory Boulevard west of Coldwater Canyon Avenue. That’s in the east San Fernando Valley, a half-mile upstream from L.A. Valley College where the concrete walls of the Tujunga Wash feature the Great Wall of Los Angeles mural. The proposed development site is currently the site of the Victory Plaza shopping center, and it straddles the middle of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s mile-mile long Tujunga Wash Greenway Restoration project wjhich extends along both sides of the wash from Oxnard Street to Vanowen Street.

L.A. Creek Freak found out about the project via an article on the usually insightful Curbed L.A. blog, which stated “In a savvy move, there’re also plans for a transit plaza over the Tujunga Wash that will connect the DASH with the Orange Line.” This L.A. Creek Freak is actually quite a fan of transit-oriented walkable density, and overall the project actually looks pretty good. I don’t find the idea of putting more lids over our already threatened waterways to be “savvy” … more like “nearsighted”.

While it’s good, maybe even savvy, to link projects like this with transit, it seems unnecessary to carve out this transit plaza turnout, which will more likely serve to delay the Van Nuys/Studio City DASH by giving it an extra little dog-leg (on top of the proposed additional loop, which I like.) Why not just run those DASH shuttles on Victory Blvd? Improve the transit stops there, which could also support the Metro 164 bus line and activate the boulevard. The transit plaza feels more like the project is turning its back to the street; emphasizing enclosed private space at the expense of livelier public space.

It would be better if the project could actually strengthen its interface with the existing park on the Tujunga Wash. The 1996 Los Angeles River Master Plan and the current Bicycle Master Plan draft update designate this area for a bike path, which the project should interface with. The project could strengthen Tujunga Wash’s bike and pedestrian connections with the Metro Orange Line, including that line’s bike and walk paths. Perhaps the development could build a portion of the bike path? Better yet and more expensive, the project could benefit greatly by restoring a portion of the Tujunga Wash as a park amenity – as a project draw! Here’s an example of where that has been proposed for development along Compton Creek.

L.A. Creek Freak will be keeping an eye on this proposal… which is probably more likely to be defeated by a weak economy than by watershed concerns. If readers learn more about developments on this project (or other development impinging on local waterways) please let us know.

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§ 9 Responses to Development Proposes Platform Over the Tujunga Wash at Victory Blvd

  • Jessica Hall says:

    Take a page from Chollas Creek-they built their mall with plazas and terraces leading down to a creek they partially restored. Not a fantasy concept but the real thing.

    • Joe Linton says:

      Is that the one on the way down to San Diego? I saw an info sheet on it from Wenk Associates… many years ago. I was looking for it online… and I couldn’t remember the place name. We should do a piece on it, especially if there are some images.

      • Jessica Hall says:

        I have a couple of shots that I sometimes use in presentations that I have borrowed from a friend…yes, it is the one in SD County – The TJ watershed tour makes a stop there.

  • [...] Through Environmental Design. The next Dim Sum Ride rolls through Old Town Pasadena this weekend. A proposed new development in the Valley straddles the Tujunga Wash and could interface better with transit and a proposed [...]

  • Karo says:

    Okay guys I love the advocacy that you do in the most part…

    but I am now sure that you have not seen this site or you would understand that it is a good project. The river walkway on the east side of the wash drops people off to the large parking-lot without a sidewalk to get to victory. If you are on the east side walking south from Vanowen your stuck at either walking into moving cars in the parking lot and need to cross a dangerous small bridge that also has NO sidewalk.

    Biking is impossible with the current conditions.

    The area being topped by the developer is a small property that is trapped between the bridge, victory and the parking lot. It that no access and is just full of weeds. This topper allows for connectivity to the other end. The developer will be placing 150 Bike lockers, and restroom this is
    the plans we need.

    Currently there is a large parking lot that has thousands of cars (with there lights, smog, and noise) inches away from the “natural” habitat and this is scaring off all the animals. It will be moving the large parking lot underground keeping cars away from the natural areas.

    The Developer is also going to add a cushion zone with native plantings that allows for expanding the natural zones.

    Most importantly the developer will be adding large water protection methods. It will have a large rain water storage tank and will be using that water for irrigation.

    Quick recap
    1. It adds connectivity to the other portions of the walk.
    2. It adds bike lockers
    3. More natural plants
    4. Transit plaza
    5. Water storage
    6. Makes it walk able
    7. Highlights the walk and brings public awareness
    8. Adds public restrooms
    9. Add safety to the walk with more eyes on the project
    10. Will maintain a portion of the wash.
    11. Incorporating the wash highlighting it instead of turning its back on it.
    12. Has community support
    13. Sounds like what we need, I think this is what will be a model project.

    Karo
    Greater Valley Glen NC member

  • Joe Linton says:

    @Karo – Thanks for commenting. While there are good features of this project, I don’t think that lidding the wash is needed. We can do appropriate development there, and not adversely impact the wash.

    I differ with you on lots of your recap list… lidding the wash especially does not (partial list):
    1) adds connectivity (it appears to block connectivity of the greenway)
    10) maintains a portion of the wash (it greatly degrades a portion of the wash)

  • Karo says:

    Joe once more I think once you step on the site you may will see that there is no connectivity on the site. I walk it regularly and i am dropped off in moving traffic on the parking lot for 300 feet or so because of the connectivity issue, then I must walk the narrow bridge.

    • Joe Linton says:

      Your comment makes it sound like you think that I have never stepped on the site. I agree with you that the narrow bridge is a problem… but I think lidding the wash will be a worse problem.

  • Karo says:

    I guess it is a difference of opinion, I feel the part they are lidding will allow for the connectivity and will serve as a good landmark for people to see and use the wash. I also believe that the transit plaza ia what we need on all projects and that is worth the lidding of that small area.

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