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California Science Center Deliberating Over Controversial Parking Agreement With USC

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(credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Board members of the California Science Center on Wednesday postponed making a decision on a controversial parking agreement with USC.

Museum directors in Exposition Park are concerned about a proposed lease that would give university officials control over parking lots at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Sports Arena 25 days a year for major events.

Under the drafted agreement, 600 spaces would be left for neighboring museums on event days, including 200 spaces for staff, according to City News Service.

Critics, including executives at the California African American Museum, fear the deal would leave patrons crunched for space.

A spokesperson for the venue said they are concerned about losing revenue if visitors are turned off by difficult parking situations.

L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe has defended the proposal. He says USC needs parking guarantees as it invests $70 million to renovate the coliseum.

“USC is a neighbor. And so they want to be a good neighbor. I think it’s a win-win for everyone that this deal happens,” he told KNX1070’s Vytas Safronikas.

The city councilman’s son, Bernard Parks, Jr., is among those opposing the deal.

“When you hear USC is investing tens of millions of dollars in the coliseum we should realize that they are not taking the money out of their pockets. They will be using the coliseum to generate the so-called investment,” he said.

The CSC board heard public testimony before announcing it would take a recess for the next three weeks to deliberate.

A decision is expected to be made by the CSC on June 25.

The proposal would still need to be approved by the Los Angeles City Council, the County Board of Supervisors and the state.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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