LAC + USC Master Plan To Be Narrowed Down

By EGP Staff Report

Meeting attendants were asked to rate the four plans pictured here: Path & place, Central green, Urban cross axis, and Green ribbon. (LA County Department of Public Works)

Several residents and area stakeholders recently weighed-in on four scenarios created for the LAC+USC Master Plan—a hospital and medical facility site that serves and impacts the communities of Chinatown, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno and Boyle Heights. The Jan. 31 meeting, held at the LAC + USC Medical Center, is the second in a series of planned meeting; the first took place in August.

The master plan meetings for the 90-acre campus — described as slightly bigger than Disneyland and which includes the historic General Hospital — are being held to gather input on potential land use and zoning issues as well as ideas on how to make the site a community asset, according to speakers.

The master plan will be used as a guideline for future developments at the campus. It will specifically address ways to achieve a community-friendly campus; promote healthy lifestyles and wellness; maximize access to the Medical Center by the community; provide opportunities for appropriate education and job training; incorporate on-campus business opportunities; and plan for future program development, according to  people who attended last week’s meeting listened to a presentation, (which will be available at a future date online), then rated four proposed plans based on whether they encourage community friendly gathering spaces and healthier behavior by local residents, create strong linkages to the surrounding community, better reinforce the historical legacy of General Hospital and whether the plan creates a campus that is easier to get around.

The meeting was a open house, with display stations where people could examine the plans before breaking into discussion groups where suggestions were collected.

The Four Options

Path & Place: a loop system that connects a series of courtyards and public spaces, with direct connections to the community and the campus of USC and decentralized parking within each zone.

Central Green: a large public space in the center of the campus, incorporating State St.; each area of the site has direct access to the central public space, with parking options centralized and decentralized.

Urban Cross Axis: a design with axial connections north and south, and east and west, creating separate areas of the campus. It has direct connections to the community and the campus of USC and decentralized parking within each zone.

Green Ribbon: a pedestrian friendly campus with vehicle access and parking on the perimeter, an organic flowing network of public spaces that creates a contiguous area of health care along Marengo Street.

The flexible land use options included research, education, community and public service areas. The General Hospital landmark, which has been replaced by a new hospital, is being considered for adaptive reuse.

During the meeting, residents expressed an interest in improved security, more public transit, widening of paths, integrating bike lanes on the campus, adding residential buildings for medical center staff and providing mixed-use space. They also expressed concerns about vandalism and homelessness, among other recommendations to be taken into consideration during the planning process.

A date for the next community meeting has not been scheduled, but the Master Plan is expected to be completed this spring.

To view the land use options and other project information visit http://lacusc.lblarch.com

The comment period has been extended from Feb. 14, to Feb. 22. Comments and questions can be emailed to Project Manager Clarice Nash at cnash@dpw.lacounty.gov

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February 7, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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