Friday, November 18, 2011

Working with Community and Preservationists to Protect Elephant Hill

In a significant victory for open-space preservation and protecting natural habitat, the City Council voted unanimously this week to sell 5 acres of Elephant Hill in El Sereno to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) to permanently protect and preserve this as open space.

I supported the El Sereno community and fought to protect 19 acres of Elephant Hill against a large housing development plan that doubled in size over the years and threatened to eradicate an open-space hillside that had been enjoyed by the community for decades. The City of Los Angeles bought the land as part of a lawsuit settlement.

The MRCA proposes a 5-acre trail development from one side of the hill to the other and will assume full maintenance and make infrastructure and drainage improvements. Working with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the MRCA are now applying for a Prop 84 urban greening grant of $1.8 million for Elephant Hill. Wednesday’s City Council action in favor of my motion to approve the sale received overwhelming support from the El Sereno community and open-space advocates.