Group Opposes Plan to Build Reservoir

Neighbors near the proposed site of a supplemental city reservoir are rallying forces to oppose the project, claiming city officials plan to build on a seismically dangerous spot and are neglecting to examine safer alternatives.

Officials have proposed building a 1.8-million-gallon reservoir on city-owned property between Beverly and Woodland drives north of Lexington Road, said City Manager Mark Scott. Building the supplemental reservoir would ensure adequate water supplies during the reconstruction of nearby Coldwater Canyon reservoir, a 7.7-million-gallon underground storage tank that was badly damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, he said.

But constructing a large, above-ground reservoir in that location is folly, opponents say, because the area is seismically unstable.

Daphna E. Ziman, a nearby resident and a member of the group Citizens for the Protection of Beverly Hills, said a house across the street from the proposed site was severely damaged in the Northridge quake. Ziman has hired an engineer who will testify at a public hearing on the project next month that a fault line lies under the site.

In addition, she said, the residential streets near the site are too narrow to accommodate both emergency and construction vehicles, amounting to a public safety hazard.

Members of the residents' group suggest that the city should rely on the massive Greystone reservoir as well as supplies from Los Angeles while rebuilding one half of 70-year-old Coldwater at a time.

But Scott said building the Woodland Drive reservoir is the most prudent and expedient course of action.

"If we go without a supplemental reservoir, we're exposed to system operation risks" that would leave the city without sufficient water supplies for emergencies, he said.

Public hearings on the reservoir project are scheduled for Oct. 13 and 21, Scott said.

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