The vacant lot near the intersection of Tupper Street and Columbus Avenue in Council District 7 is part of the City of LA’s Adopt-A-Lot pilot program. The program works to transform vacant lots into green spaces in park-poor communities. The lot was “adopted” by Pacoima Beautiful for a period of up to twelve (12) months, with an option to become a permanent green space. The site underwent a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) to identify potential hazardous contaminants in May 2019. The assessment found no environmental concerns at the site or surrounding areas and no further assessment was needed. The Citywide Brownfields Program, Councilwomen Monica Rodriguez and collaborative non-profit partners worked with the community to design and transform the vacant lot into an inspiring and functional green space. With input from a community vote on October 17, 2019, the lot was reimagined into a community gathering space. The Grand Opening of North Hills Community Space and Garden was celebrated on February 7, 2020. The completed transformation included several garden beds with seating, flexible play pieces for active recreation, seating benches with attached umbrellas, long picnic table with benches and open field to promote free play. The transformation of this vacant lot into a green space has many benefits including, increasing the quality of life through the promotion of physical fitness, social cohesion and mental health.
This site was identified as part of the LA River USEPA Assessment Grant. In May 2013, a Phase I ESA was conducted for the site located at 1831 Pasadena Avenue. During the site reconnaissance, activities with suspected uses and possible releases of hazardous substances, such as a lumber yard and automotive wrecking, and two gasoline USTs were identified on the property. In addition, there were several 5-gallon buckets of paint, pallets of thermal plastic and propane tanks, and twelve 55-gallon drums of used paint sludge on the site.
At the time of the soil investigation (1992), there was no leaking reported and only one soils sample containing petroleum hydrocarbons, likely due to “weathered gasoline” resulting from an older spill or release that has remained in the ground for a period of years.
In 1999, the 8,000 and 10,000-gallon gasoline USTs were removed from the site and soil samples were collected for volatile organic compounds and lead analysis. The results did not detect concentrations of these compounds above the LA County FD action levels.
Before future redevelopment of the site, further investigations will be needed in the lumber yard, in the automotive wrecking, in the storage building containing several 5-gallon buckets of paint, and in the storage area containing pallets of thermal plastic and propane tanks.