Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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9A -- it's over

The little guys won in court (again and again), but the bad boys took it on the street. 9A is now over. There will be a settlement in the case in which the teeny tiny Right Site Coalition fought LAUSD for four years over the School District's sloppy effort to cram a school into a poorly chosen site in Echo Park. The site wasn't a fallow lot or a part of the neighborhood in disuse but fifty homes, which have been empty for years now. Mismanaged from the start, they have become blight.

As the Echo Park Historical Society explains in its most recent e-newsletter:

A judge has approved a settlement over the school district's plans to demolish more than two blocks of homes and commercial buildings near Alvarado Street and Sunset Boulevard. Despite a string of victories by the Right Site Coalition, which included the EPHS [Echo Park Historical Society], against the Site 9A proposal, the opponents could not raise enough money to continue the legal challenge. As a result, the school district will be allowed to go ahead with the demolition. It's not clear when the demolition will begin. The EPHS would like to thank board member Christine Peters for leading this years-long fight to try and preserver Echo Park's past for the future.

Yes, some of the district's actions were illegal, but outspending the opposition was not.

Note that the District now will be allowed to raze the houses it seized. But it's uncertain whether it can build a school in the same location.

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