Home » Boyle Heights In Focus, Featured » Community reviews potential redevelopment plans for LAC+USC Medical Center site

Potential redevelopment plans for the 90-acre site of the historic General Hospital were presented last week at an open house event intended to gather community input.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works invited residents and stakeholders of Boyle Heights and surrounding communities to participate the interactive meeting to express their opinions and ideas about four “land use” options for the LAC + USC Medical Center.

Community members were presented with four options for the historic General Hospital site. Photo by Gus Ugalde

Community members were presented with four options for the historic General Hospital site. Photo by Gus Ugalde

Plans include the Path & Place, Central Green, Urban Cross Axis and Green Ribbon plans, each uniquely designed to guide the redevelopment of the site into a more community-friendly facility.

Input by residents, community leaders, local businesses and organizations from a series of community meetings held in Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno and Chinatown in 2012 was factored into the redevelopment options.

Each plan promises to bring community members improved access to hospital facilities, open spaces, walking paths, improved landscaping, education and job training programs and construction-related jobs.

The Path & Place, Urban Cross Axis and Green Ribbon Plans will provide community members a network of pedestrian paths throughout the hospital facility that will lead to the USC campus.

The Central Green plan will establish a central park area bisecting the complex in a north/south axis and was the only option that did not provide direct access to the USC campus.

Watch a video recap of the open house by Discover LA

After a brief PowerPoint presentation outlining the four plans by L.A. County consultant firm Lee, Burkhart and Liu, Inc., residents were given the opportunity to ask detailed questions at four stations throughout the conference room.

Participants were encouraged to fill in master plan scorecards situated at each station to put their opinions and concerns in writing.

Each scorecard asked participants to rate gathering spaces, health-related spaces, ease of access, preservation of the hospital’s historic legacy and linkage to the surrounding communities on each individual plan.

There was no clear-cut plan preferred by community members as participants gravitated to each station in equal numbers, but some residents did give their input on the proceedings.

Former Boyle Heights resident and current pediatrics nurse at the center, Irma Covarrubias preferred the layout of the Central Green plan.

“It looks like a little park where students and parents can just rest,” said Covarrubias.

She added that parents who bring their children to the hospital spend hours inside the facility and having a place they can go play and rest afterward would serve the community well.

Victoria Ortega, a 33-year resident of Boyle Heights, was glad to be able to participate in these meetings.

“The master plan will have a direct impact in Boyle Heights and it is important that there be community input for something that will permanently change the landscape of our community,” said Ortega.

The master plan is in its beginning stages and the four plans are just a starting point, according to the event’s moderator Sam Gennawey, who said the final land use plan could result from a combination of two or more plans.

A community workshop will be held spring 2013 to present the final proposed Master Plan.

Click here to see the four potential plans presented.

For more information about the LAC+USC Medical Center Master Plan, contact Clarice Nash, Project Manager, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, at 626-300-2363 or cnash@dpw.lacounty.gov, or visit the project website at http://lacusc.lblarch.com.

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