LA County Considering Building a Nature Center in Blair Hills Area of Culver City

Contrary to my long-held belief that people don't tear down buildings to build parks, Los Angeles County is seriously considering demolishing an abandoned private school in the Blair Hills neighborhood of Culver CIty and constructing the Stoneview Nature Center. The nature center would consist of five acres of land, including a one-story, 4,000-square-foot building housing a multi-purpose room, a staff office, restrooms, and a terrace with an observation area. 

A trail would connect the one-story building to various outdoor elements including an interpretive signage area, a botanical garden, nature grove, yoga deck, native garden area, demonstration/community garden, seating area, passive meadow, and an exercise area. A total of 61 parking spaces on a surface parking lot will be provided with a gate that separates a small 16-space parking area from a larger 45-space parking area.

The project sounds amazing, but the Culver City Council has officially voiced their strong objections to and concerns about the project, saying that the county's initial environmental study inadequately evaluates the impact on traffic, parking, city services such as police, etc. on the area around the proposed park. The city council is also concerned that, although the project site is within the boundaries of Culver CIty, the county has determined they are the approving body on the project and the lead agency for the conducting of the environmental review. The County Parks and Recreation Department will be operating and maintaining the Project.

The project site is at 5950 Stoneview Drive in the City of Culver City, adjacent to the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. The land held a school facility from 1956 to 2010, and was acquired by the Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority in 2011. 

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