Rancho resident feeling fenced in

Re: The March 30 front page photo, “Glendale Narrows gets a trail” of the new Bette Davis Park bridle trail fence, there's a back story on impacts to the Rancho's Garden Street, homes across from this Los Angeles park near Glendale Riverwalk trailhead, horse amenities, and to Rancho Avenue homeowners.

The L.A. Department of Recreation and Parks just completed year-long irrigation system upgrades in the park's two sections that have long benefited from robust border resident stewardship, neighborhood watch and trash pickup. Reclaimed water will ensure green turf where brown was summer's norm. Funding source L.A. Department of Water & Power mandated a 20% turf reduction, so unwatered areas are covered in brown mulch or decomposed granite.

Rancho residents learned of the project in November 2011, demanded an opportunity for input, and were shown the plan in January 2012. Concerns by neighbors continued, focusing on view quality, relocation of picnic areas, public safety, rescue access and habitat preservation.

The plan included installation of a long-needed bridle trail in the park along Garden, where riders had to brave moving and parked vehicles and cyclists. The finishing touch promised an enclosure fence along the trail's inside edge replicating the existing 36-inch two-rail exterior fence along Garden and Sonora Avenue to the Riverside Drive crossing.

A 56-inch three-rail fence was never mentioned. We understood a use for such a fence in the Griffith Park hills and remote areas, but not it’s needed on a flat residential street where horses walk slowly. And Glendale's horse-zone residential front-yard fence limit is 48 inches.

We pleaded with officials that the three-rail fence would mismatch the existing fence and mar cherished views that enhanced property values where a two-rail fence sufficient for rider safety would avoid the fairgrounds-stockade look, to no avail.

Joanne Hedge

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