Community activists hoping to preserve open space at the top of Las Pulgas Canyon expressed relief this week when the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's board of directors voted to help purchase a small piece of property there, officials said.
In one year, residents and businesses have raised $165,000 to assist in the purchase of a one-third-acre site in the 300 block of Grenola Street, said Blake Mirkin, a member of the Committee to Save the Las Casas-Grenola Viewsite.
The conservancy's board voted Monday to contribute $25,000, which will be matched by separate grants of $25,000 from the city, county and state coastal conservancy.
"We're cautiously optimistic that this is going to happen," Mirkin said, adding that residents still need to raise about $25,000 before July 20 to buy the land from owner Stuart Millar.
If the purchase occurs as preservationists hope, the conservancy will oversee the acquisition and will manage the ocean-view property, said John Diaz, chief of acquisitions for the state agency.
A trail originating at the site leads down the undeveloped, privately owned canyon to the beach. Diaz said the conservancy will work to ensure that a public trail is maintained, even if it cannot afford to purchase the whole canyon.