Los Angeles City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski discussed a “consensus plan” this week she has proposed that would take only the positive aspects of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Alternative D EIR and implement them, while setting aside negative aspects for further analysis.
There is very little possibility that the entire LAX redevelopment project would be halted, given the tremendous amount of money that has already been spent, Miscikowski told the Westchester Neighborhood Association Monday, June 7th.
She said that perhaps the best alternative is a consensus plan that would implement “green light” projects and designate as “yellow light” those aspects of the plan that are more controversial, holding them for further study and analysis.
The City Council will request an additional study from RAND Corporation, building upon the study requested by Congresswoman Jane Harman, said Miscikowski.
“The Specific Plan of LAX officials was, ‘Here’s the plan, the city can go away, and we’ll build what we want,'” Miscikowski alleged.
Work such as building a new center taxiway between the southern runways is necessary, because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said the “almost incursion” rate when planes taxi and cross the runways to get to the terminals in front of other planes is a dangerous problem, Miscikowski noted.
New environmental impact reports (EIRs) should be brought to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, and then adopted by the City Council, rather than just being approved by Los Angeles World Airport officials, she said.
The consensus plan would salvage money and time, since another full environmental report could take 12 to 18 months to complete.
Every year there would be an annual passenger count, to find out if the LAX EIR met the standards of the project to date, and “if not, then we should stop, recalculate, and readdress the situation,” she said.
Miscikowski wants the Los Angeles Planning Department and the City Council involved in decision-making and analysis, and to have more effective control documentation about LAX redevelopment, rather than “leaving the decision to the very group (Board of Airport Commissioners) that makes the project request and then approves it, with no input from anyone else.”
Having the ground transportation center at Manchester Square has become the linchpin of the entire LAX plan, “and I don’t think it’s a good or a safe idea,” Miscikowski said.
A group of attorneys and engineers for the City of El Segundo has told Miscikowski that it is working on a legal cap on LAX passenger traffic as it directly affects their town, she said.
The City of Los Angeles has been in direct negotiations with El Segundo, working toward an effective cap of annual passengers at LAX.
“I appreciate that Miscikowski is asking for public input, and the fact that she has stated she would not approve Alternative D without a specific plan,” said association member Denny Schneider. “Most of us don’t want the LAX EIR approved.
“We’re being railroaded in terms of timing, with only weeks left to review several thousand pages.
“Also, the City Council hasn’t yet approved the RAND study, and the City Council will receive the LAX EIR by October for possible approval.”
Schneider said he would like to know when public hearings would be scheduled to let the community learn about Miscikowski’s consensus plan.
Asked if she would commit to stopping the current LAX EIR, Miscikowski declined to comment.