The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

LA City Council planning committee approves River Park environmental impact report

Davis Marks
COMMUNITY COLLABORATION: On Nov. 8, the L.A. Planning and Land Use Management Committee hearing regarding the school’s River Park athletic facility commenced. The hearing took place at Los Angeles City Hall. Throughout the meeting, any member of the Studio City community was able to give feedback about River Park in the form of short speeches.

The Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Management (PLUM) Committee unanimously approved the school’s proposed River Park project at a public meeting Nov. 7. The project will move to the City Council for its final determination. Head Prefect Bari LeBari ’24 and Head Prefect and Print Managing Editor Davis Marks ’24 spoke in favor of the project. LeBari said he appreciated being able to hear various opinions on the River Park project.

“I got to hear a lot of different perspectives both in favor and against River Park and they’re all very insightful,” LeBari said. “Obviously, I came here in support of River Park but I also got to hear some of the arguments against River Park and even though I disagree with the people, it was still formative to hear exactly what they had to say about why they didn’t like River Park.”

LeBari said he is excited by the opportunities the new campus and facilities will provide for students and the Studio City community as a whole.

“I agree with the decision, although I won’t be one of the students who [gets to] experience River Park, as it won’t be ready until after I graduate,” LeBari said. “So although the decision doesn’t really affect me too much, I think it’s great for the future of Harvard-Westlake, for the future freshmen, middle schoolers and future applicants to have this amazing facility, not only for that but also for the community, so that Angel City Sports and other nonprofits can use it as well.”

Upper School Dean Sharon Cuseo said she appreciated that LeBari and Marks were willing to speak on behalf of the school.

“As the school works to get River Park approved by the City Council, it’s really important to feature the student perspective,” Cuseo said. “Because ultimately, River Park will change the lived experience of students at the school. The City Council does not want to hear that River Park will make a bunch of adults happy by expanding Harvard-Westlake’s footprint, as that does not improve the lives of the students in a meaningful way. [Marks] and [LeBari] speaking about how River Park will benefit students is what truly resonates with the City Council and shows them why they should approve River Park.”

Marks said he appreciated that diverse sections of the school community spoke in favor of River Park, but also recognized the perspectives of those who opposed the project.

“Hearing from administrators, teachers, alumni, coaches, parents and local community members about all the unique ways River Park will benefit them made me proud to support this project,” Marks said. “There were also many people associated with Save Weddington who had opposing views. Many of them were worried about losing access to Weddington’s golf and tennis facilities, as River Park will be a school-owned facility. However, I think the school has been really cooperative with our neighbors, and have committed to allowing the community to have access to much of what River Park has to offer. Many people also pointed out the history and community significance of Weddington, which I understand. Change is hard and Weddington definitely means a lot to them, but I think River Park will eventually be something all community members appreciate.”

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About the Contributors
Max Turetzky, Assistant Opinion Editor
Davis Marks, Print Managing Editor

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