TORRANCE — Developer Guilford Glazer lashed out at environmentalists Tuesday, saying they are hampering agreement on the city's deed to the Madrona Marsh wetlands.
"Never has it been so difficult to give away a piece of land," said Glazer, one of several partners in the Park Del Amo project, a residential-commercial development that abuts the marsh. "We're talking about a piece of land that is worth $25 million to $30 million. Either it is a marsh or we take it back."
City officials, members of a local environmental group called Friends of Madrona Marsh and developers have debated the wording of the deed to 34.4 acres of the marsh for more than a year. Two years ago developers had agreed to donate that land and sell to the city an additional 8.5 acres for $1.5 million in exchange for approval to build 1,482 residential units and 850,000 square feet of commercial space on a 182-acre site at Sepulveda Boulevard and Madrona Avenue.
The city obtained the deed to the 8.5 acres in May.
At issue Tuesday night was two proposed deeds to the marsh. One included a clause that would allow developers to buy back the land for $100 if the marsh dried up, the other excluded that clause. City Atty. Stanley Remelmeyer warned the council that the developers would not accept a deed without the clause, and if the council chose that option it would probably end up in court.