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Oil Wells and City Planning

June 14, 1985

The article (May 12), "Clutter of Illegal Oil Wells of Little Interest in Barrio," identified only a part of the issues facing the Temple Beaudry area. When the Planning Commission recommended for adoption the Westlake Community Plan, which applies to the area west of the Harbor Freeway in the southwest quadrant of the Harbor and Hollywood freeways, it indicated that the Temple Beaudry area was urgent for redevelopment.

The Planning Department had conducted a number of studies advocating the renewal of this area, which is one of the most strategic locations in the city. The oil wells have been an inhibitor for many, many years to its logical development and the planning agencies of the city have been advocating their gradual elimination since they are not now that productive.

As long as these oil wells remain, it makes it almost impossible to develop a logical renewal plan either through rehabilitation or infill around existing buildings or formulate a process of rebuilding with new development in those areas most severely blighted.

The critical issue is a satisfactory solution to the relocation of the present population in a humane and concerned manner. It is the lack of alternative housing for low-income people that has been the biggest difficulty for the area's renewal.

The City Planning Department and the Community Redevelopment Agency staff have cooperated in a number of studies that advocate solutions to this area's problems. Each time these proposals have been rejected before they surfaced for Planning Commission, City Council, and mayoral action.

The area is one of the most unique and suitable areas for housing for those who work in the Central City. Satisfactory housing for those who now live there; relocation and rehabilitation of buildings and the closing down of the oil wells on a systematic basis are vital to renew this unique area in the heart of the city.

CALVIN S. HAMILTON

Director of Planning

City of Los Angeles

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