City Acts to Turn Down Volume on 'Kite Hill' by Installing Gates

Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles City Council has moved to restrict access to "Kite Hill," a scenic Mt. Washington location popular with kite-flyers by day and partying teen-agers by night.

The city will install gates across four roads leading to the acre-wide ridge on the western edge of Mt. Washington, said Donovan Hanson, assistant director of the Bureau of Street Maintenance. The installation will cost an estimated $1,200, he said.

The gates will prevent automobile traffic to the ledge, but will allow pedestrians to use the area, which is privately owned but undeveloped.

Residents have long complained about loud late-night revelry at the area, which attracts drivers who speed up the narrow area roads, strew trash and disrupt the quiet neighborhood by playing music on their car stereos.

'It Goes on All Night'

"It's like the Hollywood Bowl up there, but it goes on all night" said Bob Cummings, a realtor who has lived on Mt. Washington for 18 years. "It's like a cancer that started. We're asking for the city's surgeons to cut it out."

Councilwoman Gloria Molina initiated the city action, which entailed declaring the area a public nuisance and negotiating with four different owners of parts of the property. Under an agreement with the property owners, the city will install the gates on city-owned roads leading to Kite Hill, not on the property itself.

The Mt. Washington Assn., a community group, held a cleanup of the area late last year.

Residents and a neighborhood Boy Scout troop filled more than a hundred trash bags with refuse, said Randall Wiseman, president of the association.

"We're not against the people who want to get together up there and party, but not in an unrestricted sense," Wiseman said. "They just throw their bottles and cans right down the hill."

Gates of wrought iron with stone bases will be installed at the west end of Avenue 47, at the end of Andalusia Avenue, at the intersection of Glenalbyn Drive and Montalvo Street and at the intersection of Montalvo and Lotus streets.

"It is a really pretty place, and it's a shame we have to take such drastic measures," said Sylvia Novoa, Molina's field deputy for Mt. Washington.

"We tried putting up 'No Parking' signs last year, but those were knocked down at the bottom of the hill."

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