Draft Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan released for public comment

Bull Creek Renaturalization
Along with all other in basin creeks, Bull Creek is dechannelized and allowed to meander and provide new habitat for native plant and animal communities. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, Agency Artifact, OLIN.

The City of Los Angeles recently released the Draft Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan and asked the public to share comments and other feedback.

Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan
The Vision Plan provides a comprehensive framework that balances ecological, environmental, hydrological, and recreational needs for Sepulveda Basin’s 2000 acres. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, 
Geosyntec, OLIN, Agency Artifact, Alta, Gruen Associates, Psomas.

The goal of the plan is to create a collaborative and historic Vision Plan to reimagine the future of the 2,000-acre Sepulveda Basin, focusing on LA River restoration, nature-based strategies, resilience, natural habitat, climate resiliency, mobility, and recreation and cultural spaces.

Cultural Amenity
A civic promenade connects civic, cultural, and recreational amenities along Victory Boulevard. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, 
Geosyntec, OLIN.
Mobility Diagram
The Vision Plan stitches together the Basin through a network of multi-use trails, complete streets, shuttle routes and new and improved access points. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, Alta, OLIN.

“I am proud of the work the Bureau of Engineering has done as the lead agency in this process,” said Ted Allen, City Engineer. “As the City’s leader in the revitalization of the Los Angeles River, it has been an important and natural extension of our commitment to developing a Vision Plan that truly considers the River, and reimagines this vital environmental, cultural and recreational resource for generations to come. It has been an honor to work with our many local, state and federal partners to ensure a safe and healthy river basin.”

Goal of Vision Plan

The Draft Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan proposes designs that utilize nature-based strategies and can be implemented in phases, enhancing opportunities for recreational uses, improving access throughout the Basin for multiple modes of travel, enhancing natural functions of the LA River and its tributaries, improving habitat and wildlife areas, improving water quality, and strengthening the flood capacity of the Basin to manage future risks.

LA River Renaturalization
The cross-section of the LA River is widened and regraded to allow the river to meander and provide new habitat for native plant and animal communities. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, OLIN.
Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan Aerial
The Vision Plan proposes an interconnected park that is defined by the renaturalization of LA River and and a comprehensive network of trails. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, OLIN.

The Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan sets out to establish a long-term strategic plan for the future of the Basin, which will:

  • Increase the resilience of the Basin and surrounding neighborhoods. 
  • Increase ecosystem function within the Basin using nature-based solutions.
  • Create natural functioning of the LA River and Tributaries.
  • Improve the interface between recreation and ecological areas.
  • Improve water quality of streams and outlets entering the Basin.
  • Improve multi-modal transportation access to the Basin and within the Basin.
  • Enhance recreational, educational and cultural programming.
Recreation Center
A civic promenade connects civic, cultural, and recreational amenities along Victory Boulevard. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, Agency Artifact, Gruen Associates, OLIN.

Support for Vision Plan from Council Districts

“The Sepulveda Basin is one of the great and underappreciated treasures of Los Angeles, the lungs of the San Fernando Valley,” said City Council President Paul Krekorian, Council District 2. “With a restored Los Angeles River as its source and center, the Sepulveda Basin can become the complete community resource so many of us have dreamed of, an oasis where we can escape from the everyday stress of city life and enjoy the splendors of nature without traveling more than a few miles from our centers of commerce and industry. I hope all who share this vision will participate in developing this plan to ensure that this precious resource fulfills its maximum potential as recreation area, as habitat, and as a safeguard against the extremes of rainfall in an epoch of climate change.”

Community Engagement: Site Visit With Deputy Mayor
The Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan consultant team met with the Deputy Mayor on-site to discuss the needs
and opportunities for the basin. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, OLIN.

“As the largest open green space in the San Fernando Valley, the Sepulveda Basin serves diverse purposes including recreation, habitat for animals, and flood protection,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Council District 3. “I look forward to working with City departments and our residents across the Valley along with partners such as LA 28 to ensure the Vision Plan meets the City’s environmental and sustainability goals and protects and improves existing habitat and recreation resources.”

Community Engagement Process

The visioning process for improving the Sepulveda Basin began with a series of comprehensive outreach events and activities to learn from, educate, and engage the Valley-wide community and region.

Community Engagement: Birmingham High school Classes
The Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan consultant team presented the Vision Plan process and facilitated
design workshops with Birmingham High school classes. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, OLIN.
Community Engagement: Community Meetings
The Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan consultant team is in the process of holding 6 in-person community
meetings throughout the Vision Plan process. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, Psomas, OLIN, Agency Artifact, Alta, Gruen Associates, Pacoima Beautiful, The Robert Group.
Community Engagement: Pacoima Beautiful Summer Program Bioblitz
The Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan consultant team led the Pacoima Beautiful Summer Program on a
bioblitz of the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve. Students used their phones to catalog plant and
animal species into a national database. Image Credits: Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, Geosyntec, Pacoima Beautiful, OLIN.

Since the planning process began earlier this year, the City’s team has engaged with thousands of local residents.

The City team has held and attended more than 120 community meetings, workshops, small and individual interest group meetings, presentations to community organizations, pop-up booths at community events, and walkshops, and has performed community canvassing, community surveys, informational banners, social media, and more.

Get a copy of the Draft Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan

The Draft Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan will be available for public comment until December 18, 2023. The full Draft Sepulveda Basin Vision Plan can be downloaded on the website at https://eng.lacity.org/sepulveda-basin-vision-plan

City Project Team
The project is being led by the City’s Bureau of Engineering, the Mayor’s Office, Council Districts 2, 3, 4, and 6, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in coordination with the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Los Angeles Sanitation and Environment, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Los Angeles Department of City Planning, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles Metro, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Transportation, and others.

Consultant Project Team
Geosyntec Consultants, OLIN, Agency: Artifact, The Robert Group, Gruen Architects, Psomas, Alta, Estolano Advisors, Leland Saylor, and Pacoima Beautiful.

About Damian Holmes 3292 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/