Harvard-Westlake’s proposed Parking Improvement Plan included the following features: A three-level parking structure on the west side of Coldwater Canyon. An athletic field on the roof of the parking structure. (Courtesy Rendering)

Neighborhood Council Valley Village hosted a discussion at its October Board meeting regarding Harvard-Westlake’s proposal to build a three story, 750 car parking structure with an athletic field on the roof. The proposed structure, which NCVV’s Board unanimously opposes, would be located on the west side of Coldwater Canyon and connect to their campus on the east side via a 160 foot bridge.

After many months of public hearings and community input, on October 30 the Headmaster of the school distributed a letter to interested parties announcing a tentative agreement for Harvard-Westlake to purchase the Weddington Golf and Tennis property in Studio City. In the letter President Richard B. Commons said “the Project as currently designed will be placed on hold.” Harvard-Westlake will use the newly acquired property to expand athletic and recreational opportunities for students and for the community.

This development could be beneficial to surrounding neighborhoods in two key ways. First, the much treasured green space that is part of Weddington Golf & Tennis as well as the key section of the LA River will remain open and not become multi-family housing. Second, the damaging environmental and community impacts of such a large project on Coldwater Canyon can be averted. More details on this development will be provided in the coming months.

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Press release from Councilmember Paul Krekorian:

STUDIO CITY – The week of November 1, 2017 Harvard-Westlake announced it is suspending its plans to build a parking structure on Coldwater Canyon Avenue, and will instead explore adding more parking capacity on campus. The announcement came at the same time the school disclosed its agreement to purchase Weddington Golf & Tennis from the property’s owners. Although the school has only provided preliminary details about the future of Weddington, this transaction is a major financial commitment that shows the school is ready to move in a different direction.

In response to the announcement, Councilmember Krekorian said, “I’m glad that Harvard-Westlake is shelving its plans to build a parking structure across the street from its Coldwater campus. They deserve credit for listening to the serious concerns that both the community and I raised about the project, and their announced agreement to purchase Weddington Golf & Tennis shows they are ready to move in another direction.”

Krekorian continued: “Since my days as a State Assemblymember, I have worked hard to preserve open space and improve LA River access at Weddington, while successfully opposing any plans to build housing or other intrusive structures on the site. As Harvard-Westlake moves forward with its new plans, I will continue to advocate for Weddington to remain an environmental, aesthetic and recreational asset to the community, and I look forward to working with the school and the surrounding community to make sure that happens.”