Oakmont View V, was officially named the Verdugo Mountains Open Space
City Council members, members of Volunteers Organized In
Conserving the Environment and local representatives unveiled a large
sign showcasing the new preserve at the ceremony.
"There are so many reasons why this is a great day for the
community of Glendale," said Councilman Gus Gomez, while holding his
young daughter, Amanda. "[My daughter] Amanda is one of them."
For years, city officials and residents fought the property's
owners, who wanted to build 572 homes on the hillside land.
Ultimately, the city, state and conservancy agreed to share the
$25-million cost to purchase the property from developers John and
Lee Gregg of Gregg Artistic Homes. The city's share was $13.25
million. Escrow on the property closed Friday of last week,
finalizing the transaction.
"This is a magic day," said 42-year-old Charles Laulette, who
owns a home on Country Club Drive. "I have a little girl with asthma
and the increase in traffic and dust from construction could have
been a real problem. Part of the reason we live here is because of
VOICE spokesman and emcee Marc Stirdivant credited four groups
with winning the fight against hillside development on the Oakmont V
property, including the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council, the
Sierra Club, VOICE and Jewish Big Brothers.
"This is one of the proudest moments in my life, unprecedented in
our city's history," Stirdivant said.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) referred to those who fought to
preserve the open space as the "new pioneers" and urged people to
continue to fight for other pieces of land around the valley.
"Take good care of this property, it wasn't cheap," Schiff joked.
"Tomorrow there is more work to be done. You are the new pioneers,
and the fight is ahead."