Proposed Echo Park development poses “significant” environmental impacts

Apr 27, 2012

Early rendering of Barlow development

A plan by Barlow Respiratory Hospital to transform its 25-acre property on the edge of Echo Park into a a massive residential community  would pose significant and unavoidable impacts on the area, according to a preliminary environmental report released this week. The fact that the project poses significant  impacts on everything  from land use to transportation  should not be too surprising given that Barlow’s initial plans call for building up to 888 units of housing, more than 15,000 square feet of commercial space, 1,500 parking spaces and a new hospital. All that new development would require demolishing most of the hospital’s old buildings, which have been designated a city historic landmark, located amid a wooded property next to Elysian Park.

The century old hospital is under pressure to build a new facility that would meet modern seismic building standards. Hospital officials have proposed paying for that new facility by selling off most of the property for development. The hospital has proposed scaling down the size of the development, according to people who have attended recent meetings hosted by Barlow staff and consultants. But the project remains pretty big and would rank as among the single largest developments proposed for the area.

The Eastsider is taking a deeper look into the draft report but here is a summary of the findings:

Based on the analysis contained in this Draft EIR, the proposed project Would result in significant and unavoidable environmentaî impacts with regard to aesthetics, construction air quality, cunluìative greenhouse gas emissions, historical resources, land use, consiructìon noise, and transportation.

The public has until June 11 to comment on the draft report before a final version is completed.

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