City Council members agreed to snap up what they consider a
bargain -- nearly three acres of hillside land at the end of Brace
Canyon Road for less than $4,000.
“We have a policy of looking at any property in the hillside area
to buy it and preserve it as open space,” Community Development
Director Sue Georgino said.
The council approved the purchase of the property from the Santa
Monica Mountains Conservancy at its Tuesday meeting.
The conservancy is a state agency established in 1980 with the
mission of preserving open space and providing area residents with a
respite from city sprawl.
The group is in the process of buying the tax-defaulted parcel
from the Los Angeles County Tax Collector’s office for $2,965, and
will sell it to Burbank for that price plus county fees of about
$1,000. The property was purchased in 1975 by SOCALAND Corp. of
Anaheim, and had not paid taxes since 1993, said Sharon Perkins from
the County Treasury Tax Collector’s office.
Property can be sold after five or more years of delinquency. The
company, which could not be reached for comment, apparently did not
respond to the collector’s office’s attempts to contact it.
In the case of a corporation not paying taxes, Perkins said “maybe
they’ve gone out of business and through liquidation, forgot about
It could be almost a year before the city takes ownership of the
land because the county must process the conservancy’s purchase
The conservancy has first right of refusal to buy public surplus
land in Los Angeles and Ventura counties at the original purchase
price, said Rorie Skei, the conservancy’s chief deputy director.
Though the area is not well situated for hiking or to connect to
existing trails, the Verdugo Mountains offer the community a
“backdrop of quality, free, open space,” Georgino said.
“We’re not going to develop it in any way or put improve- ments on
it,” Georgino said.