From Alan Dymond, President :
This holiday’s present arrived by notification from the President of Harvard Westlake that escrow had closed and ownership of the site transferred from the Weddington family to Harvard Westlake School.
The proposed uses of the property by Harvard Westlake are of a totally different nature from a condo development, however, it will be treated no differently from other iterations of the many development projects for this property that were presented to us over the years. We are confident that SCRA and SLAROS will be closely involved in the process with the new owners, Harvard Westlake.
Our confidence is based on the presentation made on December 11 by Rick Commons, President and Head of Harvard Westlake School, to the Board of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, entitled “Presentation by Harvard Westlake School concerning revised plans and acquisition of the Weddington Golf and Tennis Property, Studio City.” No revised plans were given, but SCRA and SLAROS will rely on, and respond to, the representations made by Commons. He explained,
“We are taking our identity and aspiration toward ‘purpose beyond ourselves’ seriously, and in our acquisition of the Weddington property, we want to do the same, to serve, we hope, the neighbors of the Weddington property. We hope that we can work together to find ways in which it is a win for Harvard Westlake, a win for our immediate neighbors around the upper school campus and a win for the residents around the Weddington property. If we can do that, we can of course, as an institution, do the things that our students and our graduates are describing. As an institution we can be a stronger citizen of Los Angeles, a better citizen of Studio City and a better neighbor. And that’s our aim.
“We want to begin this process of figuring out how to achieve our goals at Weddington in ways that are consistent with what our neighbors and other members of the Studio City community are looking to do.”
Presenting one of the most significant issues concerning this site, he continued,
“We’d like that to be a place where public access is certainly a primary objective. We’d like it to be a place where open space is a primary objective. We’d like to share use of that property with greater Studio City. In the process of making our plans, we aim to listen.”
A meeting was held at Harvard Westlake campus but again nothing was learned other than we were informed that escrow had closed, many sports fields were contemplated and Harvard Westlake was searching for an architect.
Issues that need to be addressed are: golf elements; water reclamation and clean up; infiltration to the aquifer; lighting; layout; sound; hours on the playing fields; parking access and public access to the property; compliance with the Los Angeles River Improvement Overlay. Tennis professionals, such as the Southern California Tennis Association, schools and others that use the courts need to be included in any discussions, and this must be part of the development process.
Hard work by our volunteers, generous donations by members and concerned citizens, coupled with support and donations from other non-profits, gave us the financial resources needed to continue our efforts over the past eighteen years.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone, and I hope you stay with us as we enter this next stage.