Update:  December 20, 2016

Joint statement on next steps for the Silver Lake Reservoirs

On December 15th, Silver Lake Forward, along with Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy and Refill Silver Lake Now, released the following joint statement to our City Council offices and the Department of Water and Power:

After the most recent DWP/ Silver Lake Reservoir community meeting, leaders from three community organizations invested in the future of the Reservoir (Silver Lake Forward, The Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, and Refill Silver Lake Now) met in order to identify common ground. Whatever our differences regarding the potential future uses of the Reservoir, we agree on the following:

We do not support anything that will delay the May 1, 2017 refill start date. However, we believe none of the following next steps will do so; and we respectfully request that the DWP and the Council offices coordinate to implement them.

A. Fund a feasibility study or a new Master Plan

A huge opportunity exists for the DWP and the City to lead in the future planning for the Silver Lake Reservoir Complex. We ask that the DWP, CD4, and CD13 coordinate and fund a feasibility study or a new master Plan. This Plan should address sustainable solutions for maintaining water in the lake in perpetuity as well as plans for the property surrounding the reservoirs and transportation and traffic mitigation. This Plan should also explore and identify potential funding sources for any capital improvements that may come out of this planning process, including but not limited to Measure A. Furthermore, we request that representatives from each of our organizations be involved in the development of the Scope of Work for any feasibility study or new Master Plan.

B. Create a test section for more natural banks and plantings

Since removing the entire upper section of the asphalt banks and road cap is not feasible at this time, we strongly encourage the DWP to test options for removing or altering the banks in some limited sections where it is structurally feasible to allow for test planting of vegetation. Results of these test plantings may inform the future feasibility study.

C. Implement currently in-process proposals to open sections of the Reservoir Complex

We strongly support opening several sections of the Reservoir Complex for public use as soon as possible. These are: The “temporary path” (at the northwest corner that was open during the West Silver Lake Dr. construction), the South Dam (connecting the paths along West Silver Lake Dr. and Silver Lake Blvd.), and the northwest section of the Meadow (closer to the water) that was part of the original Master Plan.

D. Agree to engage better facilitation and meeting practices

We would like to see more effective methods of gathering input from Reservoir constituents. While public meetings are excellent for disseminating set plans and giving progress updates, we do not believe this is the best format for gathering input from the community. We ask that a formal process of community input (working groups, additional surveys, etc.) be developed to inform the requested feasibility study. We also support using the data collected by the Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, the most valid measure of the community's preferences currently available.

E. Painting/Slurry Coating

We believe that painting/slurry-coating of the banks as described at the September public meeting does not address the community's preference for a long-term solution to naturalizing the banks of the reservoir as it apparently lasts only 5-7 years. Nor does it contribute to creating a sustainable future for the Reservoir. If the funds for the slurry can be redirected and used toward the increasing public access (as identified in item C above) or toward the feasibility study/new Master Plan, we respectfully request that be done.

F. Create a responsible party within the City

As the DWP explores future uses and possibly transitions control of parts of the Reservoir Complex to other departments, we ask that a responsible person within the City (potentially a Public Works Commissioner) be appointed to lead this process and coordinate entities within and outside the City.