Los Angeles Business Journal

Petitioners Oppose Downtown Water Slide

By Andrew Edwards Originally published August 11, 2014 at 3:12 p.m., updated August 11, 2014 at 3:47 p.m.

Petitioners demanding the cancellation of a 1,000-foot Slip ‘N Slide-like attraction in downtown Los Angeles have collected more than 2,500 online signatures.

The petition seeks to cancel the event, planned for late September, over concerns that water resources could be wasted in the midst of the state’s serious drought. Event organizers at Slide the City,the company planning the event, said plans call for specific steps to be taken to prevent water from being lost.

The newly controversial event has yet to be approved by Los Angeles officials. A spokesman for Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes downtown, said the councilman shares concerns over the potential wasting of water, but also wants to make sure event organizers get a chance to make their case before city officials.

“They have some hurdles to get over and we’ll give them an opportunity to make their pitch to the stakeholders,” Huizar aide Rick Coca said.

The city’s Department of Transportation has authority to decide whether to grant a permit for the event, Coca said. A committee formed to consider the effects of street closures will also have a role in the approval process.

Los Angeles Downtown News reported on Friday the event is scheduled to take place Sept. 27 on along Olive Street between Third and Sixth streets.

The petition seeking to stop Slide the City is posted on the website of Care2, a Redwood City company that calls itself a social action network. The document seeks to block the event from happening in Los Angeles or any other California city.

“It is extremely irresponsible for any city in California to allow an event like one featuring a giant water slide to take place for the sake of money and fun while the state as a whole has been suffering from this drought,” the petition argues.

T.R. Gourley, a co-owner at Slide the City whose job title is “President of Water,” said the company does not waste water.

“We bring all of our water in. We recycle our water throughout the day,” he said.

Any water used in Los Angeles will be trucked in from a source to be approved by city officials, Gourley said. The water will be maintained to the same health standards as a swimming pool during the event and will be sent to a reclamation facility after use.

The slide itself will have bumpers on its sides to prevent water from splashing away, and storm drains will be blocked to prevent runoff from entering them.

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