Letters : Development at Wilacre Park

April 05, 1985

In response to the article regarding Wilacre Park (March 26), we should like to correct the statement that the final private owners of the property had planned to build 50 condominiums on it. The planned development was for 150-157 condominiums, a considerable difference.

Further, there seems to be an implied suggestion that the Briarcliff Improvement Assn. exists to oppose all development, which is untrue. Our association was formed for the purpose of protecting the quality of life in our area and in the mountains generally and we continue to work for the kind of restrained development which enhances, rather than destroys, that quality of life in order that something of beauty will remain for future generations to enjoy.

This small association has a number of achievements to point to with some pride of accomplishment. For example, in 1952, we introduced and were largely responsible for passage of a new cut-and-fill ordinance which is used to this day, establishing stringent rules for grading in the hills.

Briarcliff also helped found the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Assns. Inc. (more commonly known as the Hillside Federation) in 1952. That organization has subsequently grown to encompass 41 homeowner groups within the Santa Monica Mountains.

In 1958, Briarcliff was responsible for writing and passage of a new law requiring the city to give advance notification to property owners within 300 feet of a new proposed subdivision. And, in 1959, Briarcliff proposed a 15,000-square-foot, minimum-lot-size ordinance for hillside development, which became law in 1960.

Three of Briarcliff's Directors (Betty Dearing, Stanley Hirsh and Nancy Pohl) were appointed to Councilman Joel Wachs' Advisory Committee for formulating plans for the Sherman Oaks-Studio City-Toluca Lake District Plan.

In addition to Wilacre Park, Briarcliff was responsible for the acquisition by the State of California of Fryman Canyon Park, largely through the efforts of Nancy Pohl, currently the newly elected president of our association, working with then-Assemblyman Howard Berman.

In 1982, the Betty B. Dearing Nature Trail through the mountains of this area was formally dedicated. Mrs. Dearing was a long-time activist in the Briarcliff Assn. dedicated to preserving the Santa Monica Mountains.


Studio City

Day is past director of the Briarcliff Improvement Assn.

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