Construction of donated basketball court at Runyon Canyon Park halted

Neima Khaila stands on the site of the basketball court under construction in Runyon Canyon Park

Neima Khaila stands on the site of the basketball court under construction in Runyon Canyon Park

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Construction of a controversial basketball court at Runyon Canyon Park will be halted, according to Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu.

The Department of Recreation and Parks also agreed to Ryu’s proposal “to have the Board of Recreation and Parks commissioners reconsider its prior approval of this project,” Ryu said in a statement.

The commissioners gave final approval in November to the privately funded project to build the court on a concrete slab partway up a trail in the popular 136-acre park.

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Neima Khaila, the chief executive of a streetwear company called Pink Dolphin, had pledged more than $250,000 for the court and a retaining wall to help hold up a trail right above it.

His company’s logo was to be at center court.

But many park-goers were outraged when they recently learned about the project, just as the park — which gets about 35,000 visitors a week — was closing for four months to repair aging pipes under its trails.

This week, opponents of the court filed a lawsuit asking that construction be halted and the approval of the project rescinded.

“This project was initiated before I became the council member of the 4th District and it is clear that community concern regarding this project needs more robust consideration prior to any further action,” Ryu said in his statement.

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