It was all smiles this week when a dozen young children from Hazeltine Elementary helped me welcome Greenwood Square Park to Van Nuys. Not only was I proud to dedicate the city's newest public park, it is the first park in more than a decade to be created through a little-used provision of the state's Quimby Act.
It's not every day we open a new park in Los Angeles. It is often a challenge to find unused space and sources of funding. But with this new housing development, I saw an opportunity to use the Quimby Act to require the developer, KB Home, to set aside land for the community. Now, we have a brand new city park for everyone to use in the heart of Van Nuys.
The park, which has a shaded play structure, slides, a walking path and plenty of gadgets for the kids to enjoy, sits adjacent to a row of neatly painted small lot homes at the corner of Sherman Way and Hazeltine. About a year ago, I was here with many of the same good people to cut the ribbon on the fantastic residential development that started the transformation of this piece of land.
In Los Angeles, we are accustomed to collecting fees from developers to help improve city parks, but despite our Quimby law being on the books for decades, this is the first time in a very long time that we have required the developer to dedicate land for public use.
Over the last few years, I worked closely with the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Van Nuys community, including the Katherine Square Neighborhood Watch and the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council, along with KB Home, to make this park happen. This new community resource is a wonderful space for residents, children and the surrounding community. It is a park you can walk to; a park you and your kids can enjoy.
Adding more spaces like this and creating community partnerships in our Valley benefits everyone.