We would like to update you on UNNC’s efforts to have more community and City Planning Department oversight at the Murphy Drill Site (2126 West Adams Blvd., at Gramercy Place.)
Recently, the oil and gas operator at that location (Freeport McMoRan, or “FMOG”) proposed an expansion of its natural gas operations (installation of a CEB 800 gas burner) into the landscaped hillside adjacent to 27th Street in Jefferson Park.
However, due to the hard work of many community stakeholders, an initial approval for that expansion has been set aside. Now FMOG has submitted a new, complete application to the Planning Department, and that new application will be subjected to a full review by the City’s Planning Department.
HOW THIS HAPPENED
UNNC endorsed two appeals filed by community members who protested the Planning Department’s handling of the case. The appeals were scheduled to be heard at the June 3rd meeting of the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission but, with the assistance of City Council President Herb Wesson, the appellants reached an agreement with FMOG.
That agreement was affirmed in front of the Area Planning Commission and it achieves the goal of requiring a full review for the gas burner placement expansion project.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
The new review will include an investigation and analysis by an experienced Zoning Administrator, and the review will include a PUBLIC HEARING at which all concerned members of the public will be able to voice their concerns about the proposed project.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The greatest public impact upon the Zoning Administrator’s decision process can be achieved by writing letters to the Planning Department as well as by attending the public hearing. UNNC expects that the hearing date will be announced this summer, and when it is announced there must be at least 24 days advance notice given before the hearing. We will keep you posted about the scheduling of the public hearing. Any stakeholder may comment about the case. This new Plan Approval review process gives the public an opportunity to make its voice heard on the question of expanding into the landscaped setting, which has been conditioned and maintained as landscaped open space since 1961.
This is also an opportunity for the Planning Department to hear from the public about the need for additional environmental mitigation and conditions of use at the Murphy Drill Site. Mitigation and conditions of use can include such things as enhanced landscaping, regulation of work hours, regulation of lighting and noise, cleanliness of the work facility and surrounding areas, and maintenance of surrounding public streets and sidewalks. Those are just examples, not a complete list. Mitigation and conditions of use are a standard and legally required part of all Planning Department project approvals. As a neighbor, your thoughtful input is welcomed.
WHAT UNNC WILL DO
UNNC will schedule at least one public meeting so that the applicant, FMOG, can bring the project before UNNC and its stakeholders for discussion. This is UNNC’s standard procedure for all proposed land use projects within our boundaries that require entitlements from the Planning Department. Please attend UNNC’s meetings when the project will be discussed. In addition to providing you with another opportunity to be heard, this meeting will also provide you with more information about the project, arguments for it—pro and con--and also information about a range of potential mitigation measures intended to lessen the environmental impact of the oil and gas production facility.
Thank you very much for participating in this and other important issues that affect our community.
President and the UNNC Board