In a new case illustrating the old saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," the Los Angeles City Council Friday requested a temporary halt to the filling in of a pond in Sunland. City officials say it is a health hazard but neighbors say it's a bird sanctuary.
At the request of Councilman Howard Finn, in whose district the pond is located, the council asked the Building and Safety Department to delay enforcing an order requiring the property owner to fill the pond with dirt.
The delay will give the city time to study the environmental significance of the site.
The 50-by-100-foot pond was ordered filled after Recreation and Parks Department officials complained that the pond and several others near the Tujunga Wash were being used for swimming.
Building and safety officials said they are concerned about stagnating water.
Finn said he decided to seek the council action after his office received several calls from nearby residents who said the pond has become a "significant environmental preserve for migratory birds."
Greg Jackson, an aide to Finn, said that, if the city finds the pond to be environmentally significant, it could fence the area to keep swimmers out.