Los Angeles

A park atop what was the nation’s largest landfill in the Puente Hills is closer to reality – Daily News

The creation of the first new regional park in Los Angeles County in 35 years took a step closer to changing into a reality Tuesday, after receiving a funding increase from the Board of Supervisors.

What can be the Puente Hills Regional Park on the website of what was as soon as the largest landfill in the nation obtained an additional $28.3 million from the sale of a 9.1-acre slice of the county’s Diamond Bar Golf Course. The land can be used to widen the 57/60 freeway interchange.

The county obtained compensation from the sale of the golf course land that abuts the freeway from the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and LA Metro. The money can be positioned into the county’s Park Compensation Fund, earmarked for constructing the new park.

The large Puente Hills Landfill, close to the junction of the 605 and 60 freeways, operated from 1957 till it closed its gates on Oct. 31, 2013. It had obtained 130 million tons of trash that is nonetheless decomposing beneath a layer of soil and shrubs. In the 1980 and Nineteen Nineties, efforts to shut the landfill ramped up as neighborhoods in La Puente, Avocado Heights and Hacienda Heights complained about odors and air pollution from the dump.

FILE - On Oct. 31, 2013, the Puente Hills Landfill was shut down. The tall mountain of trash towering above the 60 Freeway was once the largest landfill in the nation, at one time was receiving 13,000 tons of trash per day or about 4 million tons a year ??

“We are on our way to transforming an environmental injustice into an asset,” stated Supervisor Hilda Solis on Tuesday, earlier than the 5-0 vote to obtain the money. The landfill was as soon as in Supervisor Janice Hahn’s Fourth District however now is in Solis’ First District. The two regarded again on what as soon as was, and forward to what can be a dramatic change in the Puente-Chino Hills of the southeastern San Gabriel Valley, close to Whittier.

“It was America’s largest landfill,” Hahn stated. “To think, now it will be turned into a park the public will benefit from for generations to come.”

The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation will mix the money with $80 million from a settlement of a lawsuit with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts in September. The 24 impartial particular districts serving about 5.6 million individuals throughout the county operated the landfill from 1970 to 2013. The county sued, saying the Sanitation Districts was reneging on its promise to flip the landfill right into a park.

By scraping collectively funding, the county can have sufficient to build Phase 1 at a price of $120 million, for what will finally grow to be a 142-acre largely passive, regional park, Solis stated. The whole value of the park was estimated at $283 million in 2020.

Solis stated the park can be largely open space, with mountaineering and strolling trails, a customer’s heart, a motorcycle abilities park, picnic areas and restrooms. A previous design included Disney-esque gondolas speaking passengers to the high of the 40-foot excessive landfill website.

“Before they wanted to put in gondolas,” she stated. “This will be more of a passive park.”

Solis, who grew up in the shadow of the large landfill, remembers trash vans clogging roadways and the odor of rubbish wafting into her neighborhood.

The park grasp plan was accredited by the Board of Supervisors in 2016. In 1987, Solis authored a invoice requiring a portion of the large landfill be became a county park when operations ceased. But funding points, the lawsuit, after which COVID-19 stalled progress.

“This project has been dragging on for decades,” stated La Puente Mayor Charlie Klinakis. “And our community suffered through the impacts of the landfill for too long.”

ActiveSGV, a gaggle selling biking, strolling and secure streets, had promoted the concept with a motorcycle trip to the website again in 2016. Since then, nothing has occurred.

“The positive changes we’d like to see never happen fast enough,” stated Wesley Reutimann, the group’s particular packages director, who stated floor was supposed to be damaged in 2019.

He stated plans for a motorcycle abilities space is distinctive.

“There are very few of those spaces available,” he stated, saying he knew of just one in Santa Clarita.

Soccer fields and different developments aren’t potential as a result of the land is nonetheless settling and irrigation may leach water into the floor, creating poisonous runoff. Right earlier than the closure, landfill operators stated a few of the interior roads main to the dumping website fell 100 toes.

Michael Hughes, a member of the Hacienda Heights Improvement Association, stated he can be completely happy when building begins. “As long as we are getting a passive park up there and not some insanity, then this is all good.”


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