'Slide the City' down the drain? L.A. rejects permit for slip-n-slide

Slide the City down the drain? City denies permit

Plans for a giant slip-n-slide on a downtown Los Angeles street are in doubt after a permit that would have cleared the way for the Slide the City event was denied.

The city denied permits for the Slide the City event Thursday, said Paul Gomez, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

The 1,000-foot waterslide slide would have been set up Sept. 28 on Temple Street between Main and Los Angeles streets.

"It appears there is no resolution," Slide the City event organizers said in a Facebook statement

"Whether this is a direct result of the drought or something else, we want to assure all of our participants and vendors that we have gone through every appropriate permitting step required."

John Malfatto, a Slide the City co-founder, said organizers were still working with city officials and that he was hopeful they could get the event approved for a later date. He said they had already changed the date and street where the event was supposed to take place to appease the city.

"There are a lot of people who want the event to happen," he said. "We're going to continue to work with the city of Los Angeles to hopefully get an approved permit soon."

The event was sold out, with more than 4,000 people having purchased tickets starting at $20. Organizers said on Facebook that they "would love for participants to stick with us as we continue to work through issues with the city in order to hold the event in the near future."

Malfatto said few people had requested refunds as of Friday afternoon.

Slide the City events have been planned for other cities across the country. But in Los Angeles, the event fueled a backlash because of the state's lingering drought.

Nearly 11,000 people signed an online petition to halt the event, saying it was "extremely irresponsible" for any city in California to allow an event featuring a giant water slide given the record dryness across the state.

Responding to public concerns, Councilman Jose Huizar worked with organizers to make the event more drought-friendly.

The slide would have used roughly 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of water, which organizers said would be trucked in, cleaned and treated throughout the day.

Under one proposal, the water would have been trucked to a reclamation plant and used to irrigate Griffith Park, according to Huizar's office.

Organizers had also planned to donate a portion of ticket sales to fund a well in a developing country through the nonprofit Generosity.org,  Huizar's spokesman, Rick Coca, told The Times earlier this month.

In their apology to ticket buyers, event organizers described the the event as having been "postponed."

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