Van Nuys, CA. - On April 9th, 2014, the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council (VNNC), the local governing body for the Van Nuys/ North Sherman Oaks community, once again overwhelmingly voted to recommend to the Los Angeles City Council that the proposed new site of LAFD Fire Station 39 , an 18,533 foot facility, be moved from the presently proposed site at the intersection of Oxnard and Vesper to an alternate location.
The standing room only crowd of residents and stakeholders eloquently testified about their ongoing concerns regarding the environmental and health impacts of the site.
Not only is the site within an area identified by the California Geological Survey as being susceptible to liquefaction, but it is within fifty feet of the bedrooms of some homes, adjacent to hundreds of others, and a pathway through which hundreds of students walk daily to and from schools.
The City's Mitigated Negative Declaration of February 2014 reveals that Fire Station would generate 226 emergency vehicle calls per day (113 round-trips).
According to independent sound experts, the engine sirens will blast at decibel levels that will far exceed lawful city sound thresholds and cannot be mitigated. A sound wall would be useless under the applicable conditions.
The Van Nuys Neighborhood Council vote, which came late in the evening, was in the form of a community impact statement in response to the City's Mitigated Negative Declaration of February 2014, in which the City finally admitted what they have known all along, namely that the presently proposed site is severely contaminated with dangerous and carcinogenic chemicals which will require decontamination of workers and equipment (but apparently not local residents) during construction, that there is a danger of fire and/or explosion from trapped pockets of methane and hydrogen sulfide gas on the site, and that the site contains decades-old underground storage tanks which may have leeched additional toxic chemicals into the soil.
Unfortunately, the Mitigated Negative Declaration failed to include the significant impact to the adjacent community, and also failed to include 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), and additional construction in the adjacent area, or information about the “cesspool structure”.
According to a local realtor, property values would be impacted, and a house recently listed that backs onto Oxnard suffered a $50,000 reduction in value as a result of disclosing the proposed fire station.
In addition to residents who attended the meeting, more than 500 individuals have signed a Change.org petition, urging the City to find an alternate site.
For further information :
Jeffrey Lynn - 818.370.3216
Change.org link: http://www.change.org/petitions/los-angeles-city-mayor-and-city-council-members-mandate-alternate-location-for-fire-station-39