Fellows in the News

Landscape architect Jessica Hall, a longtime advocate for "daylighting" streams in LA, says the small waterways that remain can be sources of confusion for builders and urban planners."I’ve seen this situation a few times where because the creeks are not mapped," she says, "building and safety officials aren’t aware of their presence and don’t know to take the steps that they need to take to protect the streams when a neighbor comes in and wants to McMansionize their property."

Hall and others argue the city’s building department often doesn’t know where the remaining creeks and streams are, unless someone reports them, or the waterways spark a property dispute. "Things like that happen because the streams themselves are not well documented and there isn’t a clear set of policies regarding how to manage them," Hall says.

Hall mapped creeks some years ago. Historically, so has the city. But she says nobody’s checked the accuracy of the maps in years. "What that leaves us with is a situation where they would be hard pressed to use something like that as a final list without actually being able to verify that the streams are there," says Hall.

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