*Update: The plan was approved by the Los Angeles City Council 12-0 after an hour of testimony.
Actress Daryl Hannah, who famously protested the South Central Farm’s closure in 2006 by sleeping in the farm’s trees, spoke out against the deal.
“I find it shocking and deeply distressing that five years on we are still here fighting to save the South Central Farm,” Hannah said. “The people from the South Central Farm community have already suffered the great loss of their farm, which was their source of food, their safe haven and their green space.”
On the other side, the Central City Association’s Anne Williams pointed out that the deal will allow the land’s owner to lease the property to clothing manufactures, which will create temporary and permanent jobs.
“At a time when we’re bleeding manufacturing jobs, the city should be doing everything in its power to facilitate the growth of facilities precisely like the one contemplated for the Lancer’s site,” Williams said. “The lot is ideally situated for clothing manufacturing , close to established distribution channels, and just a few miles from the Fashion District that it fuels.”
A group of protesters took to the sidewalk in front of City Hall today to voice opposition to a proposal that would allow a developer to build on the former site of the South Central Farm.
“No more warehouses in South Central” was the group’s chant shortly before 9:30 a.m.
At issue is 14 acres of land bounded by 41st Street, Alameda Street, Long Beach Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The Los Angeles City Council is expected to approve a deal today that would give the city $3.6 million for park improvements in South Los Angeles in exchange for 2.6 acres of that land, which was intended to be a park.
Urban farmers used the land up until 2006. During that time, the plot was owned by the city, then the Harbor Department. However, it was under constant litigation from its previous owner, Libaw-Horowitz Investment Company, which accused the city of taking the land for a public works project that never materialized.
A 2003 settlement gave the land back to Libaw-Horowitz, with the agreement that 2.6 acres would be used for a park. Since then, city officials have determined the land cannot be used for a park because of pollution and traffic associated with the Alameda Corridor.
The issue is item 18 on today’s Los Angeles City Council agenda. The meeting starts at 10 a.m.
First posted at 9:50 a.m.