Political Landscape:Congressman testifies on 'Rim'

June 16, 2007

Rep. Adam Schiff, whose district includes Glendale and Burbank, testified before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on Thursday on behalf of legislation that could lead to the doubling in size of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

The Rim of the Valley Act would direct the Department of the Interior to study the feasibility of expanding the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in order to connect currently fragmented pieces of open space that surround the San Fernando Valley.

If the bill is passed, the National Park Services would embark on a two-year study to determine how the Rim of the Valley could be connected via trails and new wildlife corridors, Schiff said.


Schiff, who introduced the Rim of the Valley Act for the first time as a freshman representative in 2001, has reintroduced the measure three times since taking office. A similar version of the bill was approved by the House Resources Committee and passed by the Senate in 2005, but was held up by former committee chair Richard Pombo, who did not get the bill to the president's desk, Schiff said.

This time around, with a new Democratic majority in Congress, the bill could finally be poised for approval, Schiff said.

Schiff is working with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who introduced a similar bill in March, to get the legislation through Congress.

Created by act of Congress in 1978, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the world's largest urban park, ranging from the Pacific Ocean to the Ventura Freeway, according to Feinstein's office. It is overseen by the National Park Service.

City's downtown plan is honored by group

The Southern California Assn. of Government presented its "President's Award for Excellence for Comprehensive Planning" to the city of Glendale for its Downtown Specific Plan and Mobility Study at the association's regional housing summit on May 24.

The city's plan was singled out among a host of urban design projects being implemented in cities throughout Southern California, SCAG spokesman Jeff Lustgarten said.

More than 200 policymakers and housing leaders from across the region met at the association's summit to identify the ways different cities are addressing critical planning issues, he said.

Glendale's Downtown Specific Plan, which was green-lighted by the City Council in November 2006, took four years to draft.

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