No bids on Mountain Oaks

     No bids were received on the portion of Mountain Oaks put up for auction Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court, according to a local leader in the effort to preserve the La Crescenta open space.

Dave Meyers, president of the Friends of Mountain Oaks, said the seller was the Newport Beach investment firm Surfside Funding Corporation which financed the purchase of the property by Canadian firm M. Jorgezian Investments.

     Jorgezian had proposed a school and condominium development for the property but defaulted on a loan of $4.39 million from Surfside. Surfside is now attempting to recover some of the money in a sale of the property. More than $30,000 in back property taxes is also owed.

Meyers said the lack of a bidder Tuesday was a positive sign to the community, as Surfside may pursue other options. “We need to be proactive,” he said.

     The options could include conveying the property to a non-profit for tax benefits, or pursuing a deal at a reduced price with a government body.

     The city of Glendale decided to pass on the property some months ago, but continues to watch the future of the property with concern. Mayor John Drayman said Glendale will continue to watch the property to safeguard concerns from local residents.

     Meyers said the property for sale Tuesday was the flat land portion, known as the meadows. A hillside parcel is listed as a second property.

     Glendale is in possession of a legal opinion from the city attorney that the property is virtually undevelopable because of zone and deed restrictions, and at least two different developers have found this to be the case.

     The 40-acre site adjoins Crescenta Valley Park and once housed a resort that was reportedly a speakeasy during prohibition.


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