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SHERMAN OAKS : 52-Acre Park Will Extend Wildlife Area

The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority recently purchased 52 acres of parkland from a developer, which will be open to the public and will also extend a wildlife habitat area.

The authority and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy will hold a ceremony to celebrate the land acquisition at 1 p.m. Sunday at the southern end of Alomar Drive in Sherman Oaks. Scheduled to appear are City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, conservancy Chairman Jerome C. Daniel and conservancy board member Ed Begley Jr. The public is welcome.

The newly acquired parkland, which will be called Longridge Canyon Park, is located north of Mulholland Drive, south of Valley Vista Boulevard, west of Longridge Avenue and east of Woodman Avenue.

“We’re delighted,” said Laura Plotkin, spokeswoman for the conservancy. “It’s been a long battle between the threat of development and the desire of homeowners to keep this as open space. They fought large-scale development for many years in this area. We were happy that we were able to come in and protect this project.”

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The authority bought the property with a grant from the conservancy, which obtained funding from Proposition A. Proposition A money will also help to maintain the park.

Residents living in the area have fought to keep the property undeveloped for many years. Griffin Homes had received approval to build 19 homes on the property, which was known as Longridge Estates. The developer decided to sell the land due to financial problems, Plotkin said.

Plotkin said she believed the park will be officially open for public use on Sunday.


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