April 17, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Sierra Club Supports Converting Santa Monica Airport Into A Park:

When the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine, Calif., was decommissioned, it was reused as a public county park. Whether the Orange County Great Park’s conversion from an airport could ever be replicated at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) remains to be seen, but there are some who would like to see the single airstrip in the southeast corner of the City turned into a green public space.

A recently formed community group known as Airport2Park.org received support from The Sierra Group in its quest to convert SMO into a “great park.”

“The Sierra Club believes that the replacement of SMO with a great park including land for hiking and restoration of native species would not only address public health needs, but would also offer very much needed open space to the west-side of Los Angeles and Santa Monica area,” David Haake, chairman of the Sierra Club’s West Los Angeles group, wrote in a letter to the Airport2Park.com coalition.

“The Sierra Club strongly supports the ‘Airport to Park’ effort and urges the City of Santa Monica, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, California State, and Federal legislatures as well as all appropriate Federal agencies and administrations to work toward that end,” Haake added.

Sierra Club’s endorsement of the Airport2Park.org’s vision came on the heels of a community meeting the anti-SMO coalition held Oct. 3 at the Mt. Olive Lutheran Church.

No overtures have been made as to whether Airport2Park.org seeks to have SMO converted into a park similar to how the air station in Orange County was changed into a public park. However, the coalition has stated it hopes the land at SMO could become the largest public park on the Westside.

It should be noted the Orange County Great Park endured a tedious public process since the early 1990s before the City of Irvine ultimately annexed the land and entered into a development agreement with Miami, Fla., based Lennar Corporation to build neighborhoods on portions of the former air station.

According to the website greatparkneighborhoods.com, Lennar still has plans to develop homes surrounding the Orange County Great Park.

Another location often used to support converting SMO into a park is the former Meigs Field in Chicago. A former airstrip similar in size to SMO, the Chicago-owned Meigs Field was shut down by then-Mayor Richard M. Daley in March 2003.

Bulldozers were used to tear apart portions of the runway. According to news reports, 16 airplanes at the facility were left stranded there after Daley’s undercover late night operation shutting down what was once considered the busiest single-runway airport in the United States.

After the City takeover of Meigs Field, plans were put into place to convert the airstrip on a man made island along the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan into a large park.

The Chicago Tribune reported earlier this year not everything went as planned with the airport-to-park vision.

On the one hand, it was reported the airport area was landscaped with 400-some trees and 30-plus acres of prairie grass. A visitor center and a bird hospital replaced the airport terminal. Various concerts were held in the park, featuring headlines such as The Beastie Boys and Stevie Wonder, among others.

However, the Chicago Tribune reported Northerly Island, where Meigs Field was located, is still years – and millions upon millions of dollars – away from being completed.

How the space at SMO would be used in the future is contingent upon the legal status of the airport.

A Quitclaim Parcel governs the western 2,000 feet of SMO’s 5,000-foor runway. The Quitclaim Parcel expires July 1, 2015. However, some news reports indicated the FAA believes its agreement with City Hall, which was entered into in 1984, has been extended through 2023.

There is a hope by some that if City Hall eliminated the western portion of the airport, about 2,000 feet of runway (keeping 3,000 feet of runway intact) would be taken away and jets would not be able to fly in and out of SMO (a 3,000-foot runway would not be enough space for a jet to operate a takeoff or landing).

However, an Instrument of Transfer gave City Hall ownership of SMO in 1948 with the requirement that it be operated in perpetuity. Any decision to shut down SMO, it could be inferred, may result in the federal government reclaiming the ownerships stake it had in the airport prior to 1948 and possibly seek legal action against Santa Monica.

¬“When combined with adjacent Clover Park and the existing sports fields and dog-park at the airport, this would create the largest park in Santa Monica if not the entire Westside,” the coalition stated in a release, expressing hope all possible dominoes would fall out of favor with SMO’s entire aviation operation.

Adding more fuel to those who want to see SMO’s operations limited or shut down completely was a Sept. 29 crash where a twin jet engine airplane collided into a hangar on the northwest corner of the airport. The crash claimed the lives of all four people on board, including the CEO of Morley Builders.

in News
Related Posts

Girls Learn Self Defense at Empowerment Summer Camp for Girls

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, girls are invited to explore practical self defense training at SHIELD Women’s Self Defense’s 2024 Empowerment Summer Camp...

Marina del Rey Apartment Shooter Faces 20 Felony Charges, Could Spend Life in Prison

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The Self-Employed Chef Is Being Held in Lieu of Over $5M Bail By Zach Armstrong A man accused of firing over...

Brentwood Art Center: Kids Explore Fundamentals of Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

The beloved Brentwood Art Center is hosting summer camps at its new location at Olympic and 17th in Santa Monica. ...

Camp Integem: Explore, Design and Innovate with Future Tech

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

This summer, kids are inviting to make magic as they journey into the fun-filled, hands-on world of artificial intelligence (AI),...

(Video) Westwood Premiere of Zendaya’s New Film Challengers, Directed By Luca Guadagnino

April 17, 2024

April 17, 2024

Luca Guadagnino, stars Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, composers Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and producers Rachel O’Connor and Amy Pascal...

(Video) Mayor & Vice Mayor of Santa Monica Speak Out Against Needle Exchange Program

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Demonstration was Organized by the Santa Monica Coalition @smmirrornews A Santa Monica rally has held against the needle exchange...

Los Angeles County District Attorney Announces Charges In Brutal Venice Sexual Assaults

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

Charges Filed Against Suspect in Venice Canals Case by LADA George Gascon Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has...

GoFundMe Raises Over $84K for Venice Canal Attack Victim

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

The Victim Received at Least Eight Fractures to Her Jaw, a Large Laceration to the Back of Her Head and...

420 is coming and our friends at Venice Kush are going to be going all out !

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

420 is coming and our friends at @Venice Kush are going to be going all out ! Check out this...

Kids Learn Local Waters in Aquarium Science Camp

April 16, 2024

April 16, 2024

This summer, kids have the opportunity to engage in science and learn about the fascinating water systems in Santa Monica...

Saint Monica Prep: Mariner Sports Camps Focus on Fundamentals

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Teams at Saint Monica Preparatory took big wins this winter season.  The coaches leading an undefeated girls’ soccer team, winning...

Sophie Dance West Dance Camp Enrolling Now

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Calling all Swifties! Sophie Dance West, an all-inclusive kids dance studio that welcomes any skill level from beginner to highly...

Theatre Review: Katerina McCrimmon Can Never Rain on Streisand’s Iconic Parade

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Before I launch into a review of director Michael Mayer’s touring production of Funny Girl,  currently on stage at the...

Measles Infected Traveler Visited Santa Monica Pier, Public Health Officials Warn

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Authorities Urge Individuals Who Were at The Specified Venues to Monitor Their Health The California Department of Public Health notified...

Man Arrested in Marina del Rey After Shots Fired from Rooftop

April 15, 2024

April 15, 2024

Witnesses Captured Footage of Multiple Rapid Shots Being Fired Onto the Street and Sidewalk According to multiple reports including from...