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Air Force Will Settle for Less of Park

October 24, 1985

SAN PEDRO — Air Force officials, seeking to end a long-standing controversy with homeowners and environmentalists, have offered to reclaim a smaller portion of White Point Park for the construction of 170 housing units.

In a letter delivered Tuesday to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joan Milke Flores, who represents San Pedro, James E. Boatwright, assistant secretary of the Air Force, wrote that the Air Force is willing to use only 20 acres on the eastern edge of the 115-acre undeveloped park, providing it is allowed to build on 16.5 acres at Martin J. Bogdanovich Recreation Center, a city-owned park a few blocks away. In exchange, the city would be granted clear legal title to the remainder of White Point.

The compromise would have to be approved by the state Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles City Council. A spokesman for Flores said the councilwoman expects to respond to the Air Force's proposal by Nov. 1.

Split Locations OKd

"We would still prefer to build all of the housing at White Point," Air Force spokesman Larry Hannon said Wednesday. "However, to be amenable, we are willing to divide the housing at two locations."

The Air Force proposal comes about six weeks after Flores proposed a compromise to the Air Force plan to reclaim 50 acres at White Point for the housing. The councilwoman advocated that the Air Force be allowed to build housing on 10 acres at White Point as well as on 22 acres at Bogdanovich.

However, Hannon said that after conducting site surveys, the Air Force determined that 10 acres at White Point was insufficient and only 16.5 acres at Bogdanovich were suitable for construction.

White Point, a one-time Nike missile site, was deeded to the city in 1978 after being declared surplus federal land. However, the deed stated the federal government could reclaim the land in the national interest.

The Air Force's plan to build the single-family homes at the park has met with heavy opposition from area homeowners, environmental groups and city officials.

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