Having an Open Mind to get Open Space
I had the chance to attend the recent meeting held at Rosemont Middle School regarding the acquisition of the land at the top of Rosemont Avenue by the nonprofit Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy. The AFC is interested in acquiring the land, which is currently privately owned, in order to keep it as open space. The meeting was held, in part, to gather community input on how the land should be put to use, if at all.
It seems to me, however, that some folks don’t recognize the value of securing this land permanently as open space, preferring not to invest in or endorse its purchase but instead hope that it will remain open space by chance.
I think that this is a risky proposition.
While some think that the land is currently unusable and cannot be built upon, that may not be the case. The current owners of the property had originally planned to build a school on the land. Future technological advances may indeed make the land prime for building and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to undergo a fight like that being waged regarding the land that the Verdugo Hills Golf Course sits on. And don’t forget about the Oakmont projects or the periodic inquiries about building on the Mountain Oaks meadow.
There’s also concern that the land, if kept as open space but perhaps used for docent-led tours, could still have a negative impact with traffic leading to the area or dog “messes” left by those walking the grounds with their pets. These are valid concerns, but addressable in my opinion. To me, at this point the focus should be on getting the purchase sewn up. Until final decisions are made regarding its use, the land can continue to be gated off.
The purchase price of the land is $450,000 of which an estimated $350,000 has been committed by Supervisor Michael Antonovich. The remaining money needs to be raised from within our community, which is fair considering that we’ll be the ones benefitting from the purchase. As of Feb. 27, 13 folks had already committed at least $500 to the cause. Obviously, more is necessary and soon as the deadline is April 30.
In this week’s CV Weekly, you’ll find envelopes in which to make a donation of whatever amount to the Rosemont Preserve. I hope you’ll consider doing so.
If you’d like to check out the land for yourself, the conservancy is hosting tours. You can find out when the next one is scheduled by visiting the website www.arroyosfoothills.org or calling (626) 796-0782.