Sean Woods, the state parks boss for the LA area, wants a full environmental impact report for a proposed one-acre skateboard park that's supposed to break ground this summer 40 yards from Simon Rodia's Watts Towers (the state owns the Towers site and leases it to the city, which is responsible for its operation). Woods thinks the plans, which are supported by the City Council and Councilwoman Janice Hahn, are being "ramrodded through," according to the LA Times, and says that the state hasn't been consulted on the $350k park. A full EIR would take much longer than the environmental review the city plans on doing. Hahn's office says Woods was aware of the plans and that both the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners and the City Council still have to give various approvals before shovels hit the dirt (the Council has to approve donations from the Annenberg Foundation and Tony Hawk). Regardless, Woods says an EIR is necessary because the skate park could create runoff and reflect heat, both of which could possibly damage the towers. Meanwhile, Watts activist Janine Watkins tells the Times that the park would get in the way of efforts to bring development to the area and that the skateboard facility can go somewhere else. Hahn's office says that's not true, because gangs control all other suitable land. Isn't that a bigger problem?
· Watts Skateboard Park Needs Full EIR: State Parks Rep [LA Times]