Van Nuys, CA. - On January 8, 2014 the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council (VNNC), the local governing body for the Van Nuys/ North Sherman Oaks community, overwhelmingly voted to recommend to the Los Angeles City Council that the proposed new site of LAFD Fire Station 39 be moved from the presently proposed site at the intersection of Oxnard and Vesper to an alternate location.
The many diverse residents in attendance thanked the VNNC for their thoughtful consideration and overwhelming support, and expressed the hope that that the City Council will take the wishes of the community, and the overwhelming recommendation of the VNNC, to heart and re-locate the proposed site of Fire Station 39 to an alternate site.
The proposed new super-sized Fire Station 39, an 18,533 facility according to the City’s unmitigated Negative Declaration, promises a minimum of one hundred one-way calls per day with fire engine sirens blasting at decibel levels that sound experts state will exceed lawful City sound thresholds.
The proposed site is within 50ft of the bedrooms of private homes, and the large and ethnically diverse community includes an autistic child with severe auditory sensitivity, as well as other sensitive receptors. The community is also a pathway through which hundreds of students walk daily to and from school.The proposed station includes a 4,000 gallon above-ground diesel fuel tank, which, in addition to the emissions from the emergency vehicles, would increase diesel particulates in the air and poses a significant health risk.
According to residents, the city provided inadequate notification of the proposed fire station to residents of the community, and they were provided no opportunity for input, and the Negative Declaration, which was created four years after the property was purchased, was inadequately distributed for community response.
In addition, residents expressed concerns that the Negative Declaration failed to mention any existence of an adjacent community, or the potential negative environmental impacts on that community. It also failed to mention any evidence of an environmental review of the land, or any cumulative environmental impacts from adjacent facilities (including auto body shops, auto body paint shops, chrome painting facilities a DWP substation, a Chevron re-fueling plant, cement mixing companies, & stucco companies).
“We are happy the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council heard our concerns and supported the countless households that would be impacted by this proposal. Just because fire trucks have exemptions from noise tolerance, does not mean residents in nearby homes, or outside in their yards would be protected. Studies indicate that the stress from so many sudden sirens create hearing and sleep loss, heart attacks and even strokes,” stated resident Beverley Simpson, whose home is less than fifty feet from the proposed site.
Marybeth Schwartzenberger who launched the community Change.org petition added, “In addition to the support of the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council there are currently almost 400 signatures on our change.org site”
Jan Treibachs, a soft spoken woman, whose family has owned their home for 41 years added, “We are extremely pleased at the outpouring of support by the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council, and look forward to the full support of the Los Angeles City Council.”
For further information:
Jeffrey Lynn - 818.370.3216
Change.org link: https://www.change.org/petitions/los-angeles-city-mayor-and-city-council-members-mandate-alternate-location-for-fire-station-39