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Hundreds Show Up to Discuss “Destiny of the Valley”

Zev Yaraslavsky, Joyce Pearson, Stephen Box

Stephen Box reports that last weekend's "Destiny in the Valley" conference, hosted by the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council, was a success. When a community comes out in force to discuss fixing their neighborhood through an improved and integrated transportation network, government agencies and elected officials take notice.

Stephen writes:

As for news, the "Destiny of the West Valley" Community Forum was a tremendous success.

Over 300 people joined us and demonstrated a significant commitment to making Woodland Hills Warner Center a great neighborhood.

The day began with the usual questions about 311 and potholes but after the "Panel of Visionaries" had presented and after Zev had urged them to take charge of their neighborhood, we ended up with an auditorium of community leaders asking "What next, what next?"

What next, indeed?  Unfortunately it takes more than an excited and energized community meeting to redevelop a community.  If they can keep it up, Woodland Hills Warner Center could become a hot bed for Livable Streets and Smart Growth.  To read the Neighborhood Council's press release, read on after the break.

Woodland Hills “Panel of Visionaries” challenges SRO

“The Destiny of the West Valley” Community Forum

The Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council took on the tough topics at Saturday’s
Community Forum “The Destiny of the West Valley.”

Over 300 people went standing room only at Kaiser’s Auditorium as the ”panel of visionaries”
challenged the community to think about what makes a great neighborhood, one with walkable
streets, complete and effective mass transit, park-once concepts, circulators and people movers,
sustainable infrastructure, green streets, improved property values, reduced utility bills and quite

Joyce Pearson, Chair of the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council, took the lead
saying “It’s up to us, we must come together with a vision for the future. We must think about what
makes a great neighborhood, what makes a great street, what makes a great community and we
must partner to make it a reality. After all, this is our home.”

Denny Zane of Urban Dimensions spoke of his success with the Third Street Promenade and
spoke of funding proposals and strategies that would fund an effective and complete mass transit
system. Bart Reed, Executive Director of the Transit Coalition, offered transit innovations and
options that included people movers, horizontal elevators and circulators to make getting our of the
car a viable choice. Larry Smith, Executive Director of North East Trees, spoke of establishing a
new standard for infrastructure, Green Way LA, ensuring that all improvements utilize nature to
integrate water reclamation and sustainable elements to our neighborhood.

Councilmembers Zine and Greuel opened the session, Supervisor Yaraslavsky wrapped, and the
Forum concluded with a room full of fired up community leaders, all wanting to know "What's next?
What's next?"

The answer? The NC is off and running, now working with City Planning, City Leadership, the
Warner Center Association and the Pat Smith Urban Design Team on the Warner Center Specific
Plan Update and drawing the community into the process for establishing a new standard for Urban
Design and community partnership. First Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, July 24, 2008 @
5:30 pm at Kaiser Auditorium. 5601 De Soto Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91365.

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