Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Menlo Property: Grading Planned on a Massive Scale

Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 14, 2009. All the earth, drainage benches and soldier piles (support structures) downslope from this retaining wall would be removed for the proposed 120 units. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

According to plans filed with City Planning for the proposed 120 units on the vacant Menlo Property, 68,000 cubic yards of earth would be removed. (An Olympic-sized swimming pool is 6,150 cubic yards.) That would also include ripping out all of the support structures and drainage benches built into the hillside for slope stabilization between 2001-2003.

The grading plan on file also indicates they will be leaving in place the giant retaining wall that fronts on Riverside near Fletcher, as well as the upper retaining wall (photo above).

Neighbors, as well as the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, have expressed extreme concern regarding health effects from grading activities for this site.

The scale of the grading operation leads many long-time community activists to believe this is just another plan by convicted slumlord, Sam Menlo & Century Quality Management to get the entitlements so they can sell the land for more money, and not actually build the site themselves. Like so many other sites in the neighborhood, this one is just another chapter in the Legacy of Failed Development.

The public hearing is scheduled for January 6, 2010.