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LA County to Assess Park and Open Space Needs

Posted by Heather Davis, Open Space Policy Analyst on February 19th, 2015
Photo credit: Flickr User Alan Cordova (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved a $3.5M study to identify County park and open space needs.

The study follows the failure of Proposition P last November, which would have assessed a $23-per-parcel flat tax--which would have generated an estimated $54 million annually--on County residents for 30 years.

Opponents of Proposition P argued that it was hastily brought to the attention of the Board in response to the imminent expiration of Proposition A, a parks tax assessment passed by the voters in 1992. The flat tax proposed by Proposition P was arguably more regressive than Proposition A, which only levied a tax on an assessed property value.

There was no assessment study completed for Proposition P, which not only weakened the argument in favor of the tax, but also could have resulted in the measure failing to generate sufficient revenue to meet County park and open space needs. Dissenters on the Board also felt that the 10% allocation for park poor communities was too low.

Though it will be time and resource intensive, Board members Mark Ridley-Thomas and Michael D. Antonovich want the study to not only “identify geographic areas with the highest need for parks and open space,” but also “identify, prioritize and outline costs for specific park and/or open space projects" ideally in time for a ballot measure in 2016. CHC supports the Board of Supervisor’s approval of the new study, and will work to make sure that the voice of the community is heard and accounted for in the process.

For more information, please contact Community Health Councils’ Policy Analyst, Heather Davis at heather@chc-inc.org.