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JORDAN RANCH : Hearing Slated on Land Swap Report

A draft environmental report on a proposal to exchange private land for federal parkland within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area will be the subject of a public meeting in Agoura Hills on Wednesday night, the National Park Service has announced.

Under terms of the controversial land swap, the Park Service would surrender 59 acres of its property in Cheeseboro Canyon to allow construction of an access road to a proposed golf course and 750 houses on the Jordan Ranch. The ranch, in eastern Ventura County, is owned by entertainer Bob Hope.

In return, Hope and the developer, Potomac Investment Associates, would give the Park Service and a state park agency about 1,100 of the Jordan Ranch’s 2,308 acres.

The report, released in October, said the exchange would cause unavoidable adverse damage to the 59 acres of federal parkland, but would preserve a much bigger swath of scenic private land for wildlife and recreation.

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Although Park Service officials expressed support for the exchange in the past, more recently they have declared themselves neutral. A final decision on the land swap is months away.

Their decision may prove irrelevant, however, because members of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors have expressed strong reservations about the project. If the development is not approved, Hope and Potomac will have no need for the access road and no reason to pursue the land exchange.

Those attending Wednesday’s meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Agoura High School, 28545 W. Driver Ave., will be able to comment on the draft report.


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