When asked to peer into the future, Arleta residents envisioned a quiet residential community complete with its own “Lake Arleta” and a greenbelt stretching several city blocks with bike lanes and water fountains.
They shared their hopeful vision of the community 20 years from now with city planners in the hopes that some of these goals will become part of a blueprint to guide development in the community of 28,000 people.
“We felt it was important that the identity of Arleta as a single-family home area be recognized as such and be preserved as such,” said Hawley Smith, a resident and member of the Arleta Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber organized the workshop Wednesday, one of several held throughout Los Angeles, to ensure that residents take part in the months-long process by city planners to revise the Los Angeles General Plan.
City planner Ron Maben encouraged the 30 residents who gathered at Beachy Avenue School to map out the community’s strengths and weaknesses on work sheets.
After breaking into small discussion groups, the residents readily reached a consensus on many issues. They raved about the single-family homes that make up the bulk of the housing in the community, the importance of Branford Park and good freeway access.
On the downside, they felt Arleta could use its own post office, a community center and a public shuttle. They also want to see the electrical power lines and towers along Canterbury Avenue removed or placed underground to make way for a park and bike lanes.
Ron Koepke, a resident of Arleta since 1972, suggested that a county reservoir west of Arleta Avenue be turned into “Lake Arleta.”
“It can be used for either fishing or boating,” he said. “We can even put in a soccer field.”
Maben said the ideas will be compiled in coming months by planners, who will use them to draft a citywide land-use plan by 1994.