We’re looking for opportunities to green the Dominguez Channel – if you know of any low-hanging fruit, please pass it along!  And we’re finding we need to move FAST, because, despite the lousy economy, the market is hot for impractical bad development.

What could I possibly mean?

Just a few days ago, intrepid Dominguero Brent Morgan posted his first dispatch of Tour de Channel.  He spied an excellent open space opportunity along 120th Street, where Yukon Street hits the 105 Freeway.

Open space opportunity near 105 fwy & Yukon. Photo: Brent Morgan.

Open space opportunity near 105 fwy & Yukon. Photo: Brent Morgan.

Nearby is a bus stop and parking area for public transit.  While parkland adjacent to a freeway is loaded with its own environmental issues, it’s several orders of magnitude better than, say, “open space” that is really a railroad, such as the City of Hawthorne has called out here:

Excerpt from zoning map, City of Hawthorne.

Railroad tracks zoned Open Space. Excerpt from zoning map, City of Hawthorne.

Yes, the City’s own zoning map appears to be endorsing the idea of kids living in R-3 (high density) housing to go play at active railroad tracks. (to be fair, yes, the Memorial Center is also open space in the lower right hand corner)  

Ironically, the land in the photo above, this nice potential park site, is zoned commercial.  The Dominguez channel upstream, like the rail road tracks, is zoned open space, but again, I can’t imagine any public agency seriously wanting kids to occupy the bottom of a concrete channel – can you?  The roads on the Right-of-Way is one thing, but the entire channel??


Green "Open Space," aka the Dominguez channel, and Commercial zoning where actual open space remains. Excerpted from City Hawthorne zoning map.

But don’t worry, soon this disconnect will be rectified.  Our lovely green patch on the channel is expected to be covered with storage units, showing that land use decisions are made with a great deal of attention to community needs.  

Because what we’re really overflowing with is stuff – and definitely not usable open space.