In Oct. 2013, the Puente Hills Landfill that operated for over 60 years closed. Because of agreements made in the last 10-year extension for operation, approximately 115 acres of fill area on the top of the 1,365 total acres was to be made into parkland to be managed by the Los Angeles County Dept. of Parks and Recreation. This now is coming to fruition! The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved a long term Master Plan for development of this park.
The area is adjacent to the hillsides and canyons managed by the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority and Rose Hills Cemetery. The landfill is owned by the Sanitation District of Los Angeles County that will continue to monitor and operate a gas recovery system in the closed facility. This system and the subsidence of the surface areas due to decomposition of garbage and compaction pose major constraints on timing of implementation of the park plan. Some areas will possibly subside up to 125 feet.
The San Gabriel Valley Task Force has been involved with the planning process throughout the 18-month development of a Master Plan for the new park through attendance at community meetings, interviews and meetings with the planning consultants, providing comments during the development of the Puente Hills Master Plan. Throughout the process, we have supported hiking/walking trails, equestrian facilities, access for bicycles, inclusion of exercise facilities and restoration by native vegetation. We have strongly advocated for more than one access road for safety reasons and for trails or vehicle access from Hacienda Heights whose residents have borne the brunt of the operations over the years.
We have opposed extensive development of larger structures that would impair the views of the hillsides from surrounding areas and things such as slides on the slopes as not compatible with a quiet recreational experience.
The Master Plan was completed, and the Los Angeles County Supervisors approved the plan October 25, 2016 that will guide development over many years. The Master Plan envisions three major phases of development of this future park over the next 30 years. The first phase begins in 2017 as final designs for the park begin to be put in place. Construction of the park and its amenities is anticipated to begin in 2018.
We now will have a new park but Sierra Club will continue to monitor the planning process.