Los Angeles County’s final document outlining grant guidelines and policies for park funding, will be recommended for approval by the Board of Supervisors, on February 5.
Local activists, working to ensure that the Santa Monica Mountains and the Council of Governments (COG) cities within the boundaries of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area get a fair share of the funding, urge concerned residents to attend the meeting.
The Los Angeles County Safe Clean Neighborhood Parks and Beaches Measure of 2016, the parks funding ballot initiative approved in 2016, asked voters to approve an annual parcel tax of 1.5 cents per square foot of development, with the goal of generating approximately $94 million per year to replace expiring dedicated funding from two earlier versions of Proposition A approved in 1992 and 1996.
The older versions of the measure included funding for maintenance and acquisition of open space in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). The new version of Measure A makes it much harder for agencies and local governments in the Santa Monica Mountains to obtain grants.
The massive Measure A Grants Administration Manual covers the grant application and administration process for Measure A.
The competitive grant process places priority on park-poor urban areas, but supporters of the national recreation area argue that the mountains and coastline provide essential open space recreation and access to nature for the entire Los Angeles area and are an essential resource.
They also point out that the catastrophic damage caused by the Woolsey fire to Los Angeles County’s backyard national park should be a priority for the county. The repair and restoration process for the parkland has been further complicated by the government shutdown, which is impacting NPS properties badly burned in the fire and now unprotected.
Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation President Kim Lamorie stresses the importance of the grant process in the aftermath of the Woolsey Fire.
“Please plan on attending [the meeting] if you want to see funding coming to the Santa Monica Mountains and to our cities,” Lamorie wrote in an e-mail. “It is even more critical now with the horrific impacts of the Woolsey fire on our parks and open spaces. We need funding, and we need to be able to compete for competitive grant funding.”
The draft Grants Administration Manual for the Los Angeles County Regional Park and Open Space District can be accessed online: http://rposd.lacounty.gov/2018/12/03/draft-for-measure-a-grants-administration-manual-available/. The agenda for the February 5 meeting is available online at lacounty.gov.
The Board of Supervisors is located at 500 W Temple St #383, Los Angeles, CA 90012.