The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a plan that will restore part of the abandoned neighborhood west of Los Angeles International Airport to its native state.
The once-thriving neighborhood known as Surfridge was demolished in the 1960s and 70s as LAX grew and the sound of jet-planes flying directly above people’s homes forced residents to leave.
After Los Angeles World Airpots, the land’s owner, submits final plans to the Coastal Commission outlining soil erosion, landscaping and proper drainage, it can begin tearing up the abandoned roads’ pavement and replace invasive species with native vegetation.
The partial restoration encompasses a 48-acre area in the northernmost section of the dunes between Vista del Mar and Pershing Drive. About 6 acres of native coastal dune and coastal prairie vegetation will be planted in that area. No permanent irrigation will be installed, and any watering will be done manually with water trucks.
Most of the roads will be removed, but LAWA will retain others as service roads for the airport.
The El Segundo dunes cover about 302 acres and are a remnant of a larger dune area that covered about 4.5 square-miles of coastline between Westchester to the base of the Palos Verdes peninsula.
After the approximately 800 homes were demolished between 1966 and 1972, developers proposed a 27-hole golf course on the property in 1986, but the Coastal Commission rejected their plan due to its impact on a wide variety of native flora and fauna, including a number of rare and endangered species.
In 1987, the Commission approved the creation of three, 2-acre sites as preserves for the El Segundo butterfly and denying another potential plan for a golf course in the early 1990s, the Commission approved restoration of an additional 137 acres.
Because of security issues due to the dunes’ proximity to LAX, public access will not be allowed on the land.
The project will go to the Board of Airport Commissioners on Feb. 19, and construction could start in August and will last about eight months.