Details of Harvard-Westlake School’s development plan for the Weddington site have been revealed on Harvard-Westlake’s website. At Harvard-Westlake exclusive presentations of the plan to the neighborhood closest to the site, many attendees reportedly came away with an impression this plan was a “done deal.” Not so!
The Studio City Residents Association (SCRA) and Save LA River Open Space (SLAROS) exist to protect this last remaining 16 acres of unprotected open space along the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley. They categorically state this is not a “done deal.”
Beloved San Fernando Valley Golf Course Set to Close After Land Sale
History-rich Weddington Golf Course in the San Fernando Valley is set to close permanently, but many residents seemed shocked to hear the news. Gordon Tokumatsu reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (Published Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019 | Credit: Gordon Tokumatsu, Matt Halla)
Joint Statement From Studio City Residents Association and Save LA River Open Space | Re: Harvard-Westlake Development of Weddington
In October 2017, Harvard-Westlake (“HW”) announced their purchase of Weddington Golf and Tennis, the last 16 acres of undeveloped Studio City land along the LA River.
In announcing the purchase, HW’s press release stated: “Over the next few years, the school will develop the Harvard-Westlake Community Athletics Center, which will offer athletic and recreational opportunities to our students and to the Studio City community.”
HW’s purchase announcement also committed to a “transparent, thoughtful process.”
Harvard-Westlake’s proposal for the Athletic Center at Weddington Golf and Tennis were discussed with a few neighbors. Comments were posted on Nextdoor.com.
Save La River Open Space responded to the postings on Nextdoor as follows:
What athletic programs are planned for the site? How will lighting, noise, traffic and other impacts be mitigated to retain the tranquility of the property and immediate neighborhood?
How does Harvard-Westlake intend to incorporate water reclamation elements into the plan?
What is the purpose for the below-grade garage? How many parking spaces are proposed?
If it is not feasible to build a parking structure below grade, what alternate plans does Harvard-Westlake have to accommodate parking requirements?
What are Harvard-Westlake intentions for Valleyheart Drive?
What access will the community have to the courts, as well as to the golfing facilities? How will public access to recreational facilities by the public be assured?
Does Harvard-Westlake plan to build a gym and other structures on the site?
On October 30, 2017 Harvard-Westlake announced they had agreed with Weddington Golf and Tennis to purchase the Weddington Golf and Tennis site that presently is designated as open space, open to the public.
As stated in the release: “The Weddington property acquisition will enable Harvard-Westlake to re-evaluate the Parking, Safety & Athletic Improvement (PSA) Project that the school has proposed on land it owns just west of Coldwater Canyon across from the upper school campus.” In other words, the Coldwater facilities could be transferred from the Coldwater site to the Weddington Golf and Tennis site.
Today, Harvard-Westlake made a tremendously important announcement: it is suspending its plans to build a parking structure on the west side of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, and will instead explore adding more parking capacity on campus. I want to thank the community for making its voice heard regarding the Coldwater project. I also appreciate that the school has listened to my concerns, and those of the community, and taken them seriously. The open discourse among the community, the city, the school and impacted neighbors highlights what makes our democratic process so great and important.
Dear Harvard-Westlake Families and Friends:
I am writing to share the exciting news that Harvard-Westlake has entered into an agreement to purchase Weddington Golf & Tennis, a 16-acre property in Studio City bounded by Whitsett Avenue and the Los Angeles River, less than a mile from Harvard-Westlake’s upper school campus. This land, which has been privately owned for more than a century by the Weddington family, is currently home to a nine-hole golf course, a driving range, and 16 tennis courts.