Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Houses come down


Curbed L.A.'s Dakota posted yesterday the news of once-nice old wood frame houses being demolished at the 9A site in Echo Park. 9A is what the LAUSD has called the blocks at Santa Ynez and Mohawk, where residents were pushed out of the houses in question. Make that former houses. They have been empty and rotting for over two years. A coalition of neighborhood groups and individuals -- who wanted the LAUSD to behave responsibly and legally in the way it chose the site and in the way it dealt with residents -- won challenges to the LAUSD's practices repeatedly in court. But, ultimately, the LAUSD could keep spending and spending on legal fees, and the neighborhood coalition could not. So the case settled.

According to Curbed, which linked to Chicken Corner (don't get dizzy):

Last week, the Chicken Corner blog reported there had been a legal settlement between the LAUSD and the Right Site Coalition, paving the way for the homes to be razed. If the blog had indicated that there was some question whether the school could be built, the LAUSD's Vickie Ramos tells us: "Yes, the school is going to be built."

Last I heard the city was still opposed to putting a campus in that spot. Council president Eric Garcetti has opposed giving up the street that runs through it. The Department of Transportation has said the location is unsafe for small children, given the fast/heavy traffic on Alvarado, on one side of it. Again, last I heard, the DOT hadn't changed its position. Then there is the question of whether the fire department, which uses Mohawk, would be adversely affected in losing the street.

From the beginning, the LAUSD's main argument FOR the site seemed to be not that it's a good site, but that they could get it, or they thought it would be easy at the time. And, once the wheels started turning, the argument evolved. It was a good site because the district already had spent so much time and money on it. So they devoted ten times more time and money. Just to get the houses torn down.

One thing we know: LAUSD got to tear down those houses in the end.

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