One of the parcels adjoins the Chevy Chase Open Space east of the Glendale (2) Freeway in the San Rafael Hills. The 37 acres were initially approved for development of about 100 homes, but the project was later downsized.
Even so, it was still developable and could have fetched a healthy financial return for the developers, city officials said.
Both developers and the conservancy declined to reveal the donation’s total value, but Gangi said that together the parcels were worth “many millions.”
“It’s a lot of money, but on the other hand, it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
Gregg declined to comment on the donation.
The largest portion of the donation is 117 acres directly above Brand Park, which includes a year-round stream in a lush landscape that is a key part of the Skyline Trail and Verdugo Mountain Parkway, according to the conservation authority.
The last parcel adjoins the Verdugo Mountains Open Space Preserve — 244 acres of parkland acquired by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 2003 — and includes part of the Beaudry North Motorway, a main hiking trail along the mountain’s backbone.
Although Gregg and Gangi had been considering the deal since before summer, talks to secure the donation didn’t heat up until Councilman Frank Quintero brought the developers and the conservancy to the table to broker an agreement, officials said.
“He kind of brought us together, and it just happened,” Collins said.
Quintero lauded the developers for being willing to give up so much land, especially the more developable portions around the Glenoaks Canyon area.
“That’s a major coup,” he said. “I just think they really need to be congratulated.”