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DATE: August 21, 2014

TO: State Clearinghouse, Responsible and Trustee Agencies, Interested Individuals, and Organizations

SUBJECT: Notice of Preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Report(City Document No. NP-14-004-RP

LEAD AGENCY: Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, in conjunction with the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP), is evaluating the development of Hollywood Central Park (“HCP” or “the Park”), a proposed deck park that would cap a segment of the US 101 (Hollywood Freeway). The City will serve as the Lead Agency under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and is preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Project. Since the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, is a responsible agency for actions related to the Hollywood Freeway, environmental documentation will also be prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This Notice of Preparation (NOP) is being distributed to applicable responsible agencies, trustee agencies, and interested parties. Comments from interested agencies are requested as to the scope and content of the environmental information that is pertinent to each agency’s statutory responsibilities in connection with the Project. Comments are also requested regarding environmental issues associated with the Project from interested individuals and organizations.

Project Location:

The Project is located in the City of Los Angeles (City), approximately 4 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, within the community of Hollywood (see Exhibit 1). The Project Area encompasses the air space above approximately one mile of the Hollywood Freeway, extending from the Santa Monica Boulevard overpass to a point just north of the Hollywood Boulevard overpass, along North Bronson Avenue (see Exhibit 2). The Project Area is approximately 38 acres, is located within Caltrans right-of-way, and varies in width between 200 and 300 feet.

Project Description:

The FHCP is proposing to develop and operate the HCP, which would be an approximately 38-acre park and recreational facility constructed above the Hollywood Freeway on an engineered deck and support structure (Project). The Project would be built in the air space above the Hollywood Freeway and would thereby enclose the approximately one-mile below-grade portion of the Hollywood Freeway located between Bronson Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard. The purpose of the Project is to recreate community connectivity by developing an open space resource that serves as a focal point for recreation and civic life in the community. By constructing a cap over a portion of the existing Hollywood Freeway trench, the Project would create a street-level urban park that reunites communities separated by the Hollywood Freeway more than sixty years ago. The Project would adaptively transform unused air space into a community resource that promotes economic stimulus, creates jobs, and provides a variety of engaging land uses. At the most basic level, and for environmental review purposes, the Project contains two major components. The first component is the usable area and facilities within the HCP. The second component is the engineered deck above the Hollywood Freeway and the supporting infrastructure. The grade-level land uses are anticipated to include, but will not be limited to, landscaped open space, multi-purpose fields, active and passive pedestrian meadows, small retail facilities and kiosks (bike shops, seasonal markets, art galleries, etc.), restaurants, an amphitheater, a community center, plazas and terraces, water features, playgrounds, dog parks, and interactive community areas (see Exhibits 3a and 3b). The Park is anticipated to be open 7 days a week, 24 hours per day, without restrictions to pedestrian movement through the Park. The Project would be developed in phases, starting from the north and proceeding to the south. The first phase of development would involve the area north of Sunset Boulevard and would include an amphitheater, parking, terraces, restaurants, a bed and breakfast inn, a grass area, and a dog park. The remainder of the Park and its proposed features would be developed over one or more subsequent phases, as construction activities proceed. The EIR will be structured to provide a project-specific and programmatic-level analysis of the Project, based on the degree of design detail available. At this time, it is anticipated that the EIR will analyze the first phase of the Project at a project level and the whole of the Project at a program level. The EIR could also analyze the entire Project at a project-specific level, if sufficient design detail is available during the environmental review.

Project Approvals:

The Project is unique because it would be built in the airspace above an existing freeway. Therefore, there is a unique set of land use and zoning considerations that will be analyzed in the EIR to ensure an adequate entitlement package applies to the Project. At this preliminary stage of analysis, the potential discretionary actions for the Project could include, but would not be limited to, the following:

  • General Plan Amendment to ensure appropriate land use designations
  • Zone Change to establish appropriate zoning above a transportation public facility
  • Master Planned Development zone that provides a development plan and a set of development standards for the site
  • Conditional Use Permit to allow uses and operations within the Park area
  • Site Plan Review for implementation of the Park site plan
  • Land use and zoning ordinance to permit proposed uses, structures, and facilities associated with the Park
  • City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning, Project review pursuant to Section 504 of the Hollywood Redevelopment Plan
  • B Permit for certain construction activities
  • Demolition, grading, excavation, foundation, and associated building permits
  • Haul route(s) approval, as necessary
  • Disposition, development, and encroachment permits to allow for the development of the Project over the freeway (Caltrans)
  • Other federal, state, or local permits and ministerial approvals, as necessary, including (but not limited to) the State Department of Transportation (Caltrans), South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), and Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region (RWQCB)
  • Other entitlements, permits, and approvals that may be necessary to construct and operate the Park.

As noted above, this list of potential entitlements may be modified, expanded, or reduced. At this time, the City is considering entitlement mechanisms such as a park-specific ordinance or a Master Planned Development ordinance that could apply to the Project. The City will refine the list of entitlements necessary for the Project, with further input from stakeholders, the community, and City staff, as the environmental review process proceeds.

Potential Environmental Effects:

Based on the Initial Study prepared for the Project, the Draft EIR will address the potential environmental effects of the Project, which may include, but may not be limited to, Aesthetics, Air Quality, Community Impacts, Cultural Resources, Geology and Soils, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Hazards and Hazardous Materials, Hydrology and Water Quality, Land Use and Planning, Noise, Population and Housing, Public Services, Recreation, Transportation and Circulation, and Utilities and Service Systems.

Scoping Process:

The scoping process for the Project includes early consultation with public agencies and the general public. A public scoping meeting in an open house format will be held to provide interested parties the opportunity to learn about the Project and to submit written comments to assist the Project team in the Draft EIR development process. The meeting will be held at the following time and location:

September 6, 2014, 10 AM-12 PM
STEM Academy at Bernstein, in the Quad
Helen Bernstein High School
1309 N. Wilton Place Hollywood, CA 90028

You may stop by at any time between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm to view materials, ask questions, and provide comments.

Public Comment Period:

The 30-day public comment period for this Notice of Preparation will commence on August 21, 2014 and conclude on September 22, 2014. Copies of this Notice of Preparation and the Initial Study will be available for review at the following locations:

  • Frances Howard Goldwyn - Hollywood Regional Library, 1623 N. Ivar Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028 - 323.856.8260
  • Cahuenga Library, 4591 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90029 - 323.664.6418

A copy of the Notice of Preparation and Initial Study will be posted online.

Please submit comments in writing to the address provided below. Comment letters must be received by 5:00 p.m. on September 22, 2014.

Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
221 N. Figueroa Street, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Contact: Darryl Ford
Fax: (213) 202-2612

If there are any questions regarding this Notice of Preparation, please contact Mr. Darryl Ford, at 213.202.2682.

City Document No. NP-14-004-RP
Hollywood Central Park
Documents File Type
Notice of Preparation PDF (7.2 MB)
Initial Study PDF (12 MB)
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