Santa Monica : City Urged to Buy Park

The Recreation and Parks Commission has recommended that the city buy Los Amigos Park from the school district to block a school district-approved plan to build a school there.

The 5.6-acre parcel at 6th Street and Ocean Park Boulevard is owned by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District but has been leased to the city for decades. The district decided recently to build an elementary school at the park as part of a plan to reorganize and overhaul aging school facilities in Ocean Park. About half of Los Amigos Park would remain open space.

But community residents, including slow-growth advocates and participants in sports leagues at the park, persuaded the commission that open space should be preserved for recreation, according to the residents' press release.

City Manager John Jalili said that the land would cost $2 million and that there is no money available in the parks fund. The parks commissioners' unanimous vote to buy the land sends the issue to the City Council. Jalili said the council will take up the matter sometime this month.

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