La Canada OKs $1.5 Million for Preserve

The La Canada Flintridge City Council voted unanimously to pay a private developer $1.5 million for 55 acres of undeveloped land in Cherry Canyon to be maintained as a natural preserve.

The council, with Councilman O. Warren Hillgren absent, held a special meeting Monday to approve the purchase. The Cherry Canyon acreage, south of Descanso Gardens, will be bought with $1 million in state grant money and $500,000 of the city's own money.

The land is owned by Michael Montgomery, a South Pasadena attorney who city officials said has agreed to accept the city's offer. The city expects to close escrow in September.

$1.2 Million From State

In the state budget signed by Gov. George Deukmejian in July, the city was granted $1.2 million to buy the Cherry Canyon property. The city committed itself to contributing $500,000 toward buying Montgomery's property and plans to use the remaining $200,000 in grant money to purchase other land in the area. The grant money will be put in a trust account to be administered by the Santa Monica Conservancy, a state agency dedicated to preserving the mountains.

Earlier this year the city received a $90,000 grant from the conservancy to purchase smaller tracts in Cherry Canyon for hiking and equestrian trails. That land will become part of the preserve.

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