Extension on public comments sought for proposed Farmers Field
A handful of community organizations and at least one mayoral candidate called on city officials Wednesday to extend the public comment period on environmental documents related to the proposed Farmers Field stadium and improvements to the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The public comment period ends May 21, but the groups argue that they were not given enough time to read through the mammoth draft environmental impact report, much less analyze or critique it.
"The current and unrealistic 45-day comment period insists that residents and stakeholders read, digest and analyze nine pages per hour, 24 hours per day, starting the day the EIR was released up until comments are due," Pete White of the Los Angeles Community Action Network said during a public hearing on the document Wednesday afternoon.
"This is an unrealistic expectation and raises many due process concerns," he said.
Mayoral candidate Kevin James also spoke at the hearing and called for an extension in the public comment period.
Jon Foreman, a senior city planner, said no decision had been made on whether to extend public comments on the draft document, which is expected to be finalized this summer.
White's group and others also raised concerns about the project's effect on affordable housing and low-income residents. "A project of this size will have significant impacts on housing affordability and gentrification in the surrounding area, both in Pico-Union and in other communities to the north, south, east and west of the project site, including South Park and many others," said Joe Donlin of the group Strategic Actions for a Just Economy.
Donlin told officials at the hearing that the analysis of housing market impacts in the report was flawed and urged that the issues be addressed and the true effect on housing affordability and gentrification be “mitigated through significant community benefits."
He and others have suggested a "No Net Loss policy," which would ensure that no units at any affordability level are lost as a result of Farmers Field.
-- Ari Bloomekatz
Image: A rendering of the proposed Farmers Field in downtown L.A. Credit: AEG