Conservancy Controversy Causes Confusion

Posted by on Apr 25th, 2012 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Brandon HENSLEY

There was some confusion, not to mention irritation, over the handling of the property at the top of Rosemont Avenue at the CV Town Council meeting on April 19.

John Howell, executive director of the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy, gave an update on the status of the group’s intended purchase of the property, and after he was done an extended discussion of how the conservancy should report matters to the community broke out, mostly led by councilmember Mike Claessens.

Claessens moved that the conservancy should bring its plans for the property to the CVTC Land Use Committee for update, and that would include the committee drafting a letter to Supervisor Mike Antonovich asking for exactly that.

“It’s a lot of public money and I’m sure the community is on board with it,” said Claessens. “I am too, I think it’s a great thing, but we’d like to know where the funds [are going].”

Howell was noticeably confused by the motion.

“That’s a little different than asking us to come and speak to you. That’s directing us to come … so I have problems with the ambiguity of the language.”

Howell added that the AFC comes in good faith and looks to work cooperatively with the community anyway.

The deadline for the eight acres of land to be bought is April 30, according to Howell. He said the conservancy was granted $350,000 from Antonovich’s office and has $45,000 from community donations so far. The price of purchase is $450,000.

The AFC’s intention is to preserve the land from housing. Money would go toward clearing brush and restoration.

“This is really going to be an exciting thing for our grandchildren,” said Steve Pierce, who was at Howell’s side during the update. “That’s why I’m on board, because [I want] to see my grandchildren enjoy the Crescenta Valley and never see a hotel or 25 homes up there. I want to see the land up there.”

Howell asked several times for Claessens to reword his motion. In the end, Claessens, along with councilmember Charles Beatty, said they want the AFC to give full disclosure for any plans they have for the property.

“It’s best to have things down in black and white so there’s no confusion six months down the line,” Beatty said.

Pierce said the AFC has been doing that all along, and added it’s the public’s decision with what to do with the land anyway.

Councilmember Frank Beyt stepped in and moved to table the discussion for another time, which was granted.

“There’s too much indecision on both parts and it’s not clear to me what [Claessens is] asking for to begin with,” Beyt said.

There is a public tour of the land scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. Parking will be at Two Strike Park, 5107 Rosemont Ave.

Announcements throughout the meeting included a mention of Arbor Day, which will be held on Saturday at Two Strike from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The theme this year is “Remember the past, plant for the future.”

Taste of the Montrose will be held May 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Honolulu Avenue. Tickets cost $20 and all proceeds will benefit CVHS Prom Plus.

The beginning of the meeting saw several certificates of appreciation handed out by the Armenian Community & Youth Center. Chairman Arick Gevorkian presented awards to the following contributors in the Crescenta Valley:

• Robin Goldsworthy, publisher of CV Weekly

• Mary O’Keefe, reporter for the CV Weekly

• Mike Lawler, president of the CV Historical Society and columnist for the CV Weekly

• Jorge Valdivia of CV Sheriff’s.

• Cheryl Davis, president of the CV Town Council

• Steve Pierce, community activist

The next council meeting is scheduled for May 17 at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd. in La Crescenta. For ongoing council updates, visit the website at

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