Boyle Heights Community Plan Process Gets New Life

Photo: Rafael Cardenas/Eastsiderwriter.com

The City Council voted two weeks ago to staff the Boyle Heights Community Plan, two years after it was stalled by budget cuts.

The Council vote allowed the City to earmark Measure R funds to staff one position for the BHCP, while the City Planning Department committed a second planner. More than 40 percent of the work had been completed on the plan before work halted in 2010. The last Boyle Heights Community Plan was completed in 1998.

“With a new rail line, a burgeoning arts district and new schools, Boyle Heights is improving rapidly and is in great need of a comprehensive community plan so that we support all the great things happening in Boyle Heights in a thoughtful, strategic and thorough manner,” said Councilmember Jose Huizar in a press release. Huizar proposed the legislation to revive the BHCP.

The resurrection of the Boyle Heights Community Plan was a win for the neighborhood, said Mike Dennis, community-organizing director for East Los Angeles Community Corporation.  Since more than 400 Boyle Heights residents were involved in the initial meetings to develop the BHCP, the information gathered would have been wasted if the plan was not revived.

While ELACC hopes to advocate for ideas developed in their own Plan del Pueblo in the BHCP, they won’t rely completely on the community plan. “The community plan is a very old process, and not necessarily the most efficient,” said Dennis, “. . . but it is one of the many tools we are using to advocate for the Plan del Pueblo.”

In a 2009 LA Streetblog post, the BHCP meetings found many problems with freeway guard rails and guard walls needing repair, and highway underpasses needing improvement to be safer and more pedestrian friendly.