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Move to Buy Glendale Property Called Premature : Governor Vetoes $2 Million for Ranch

June 26, 1986|MARK GLADSTONE | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Gov. George Deukmejian has vetoed a $2-million appropriation in the state budget for the acquisition of the 746-acre Inter-Valley Ranch in Glendale.

Under the budget plan submitted to Deukmejian by the Legislature, the funds would have come from a state bond act to be placed on the November ballot.

In his veto message on Wednesday, Deukmejian said, "No bond act exists to fund these appropriations, and no bill to place such a bond measure before the voters has been endorsed by this Administration. Therefore, these augmentations . . . are not appropriate and are premature. In the event a bond act comes to fruition, these projects should be submitted for review and evaluation through the annual budget process."

Under the Legislature's budget, the $2 million in state funds was supposed to be matched by another $2 million from the city of Glendale.

The ranch, owned by Howard Bliss of Rancho Mirage, includes horse stables and a vintage winery which city officials have marked for preservation. Located in northernmost Glendale, the property is along the Rim of the Valley Trail that runs from the Santa Monica Mountains to the San Gabriel Mountains.

Sen. Newton R. Russell (R-Glendale) said the governor's action was "disappointing." He described the proposal as having been "a calculated risk" because the legislative budget committees had taken the unusual step of agreeing "to pre-assigning monies from a yet to be passed bond issue."

Regardless of the governor's action, an attorney representing owners of the Inter-Valley Ranch said he expects the land to remain available for public purchase.

Gerald R. Cochran said that property owners already have offered to finance the city's purchase of the land by allowing payments to be made over a period of several years. He said it is "certainly possible" that a sale agreement still may be reached without state funding.

Cochran said that a tentative agreement has been reached to sell the property to the city for $4.6 million, plus an unspecified amount to be paid to the Crescenta Valley Homeowners Assn. for legal expenses they incurred to block construction of a proposed 283-home subdivision on the site in 1982. Over the last two decades, numerous housing developments have been proposed for the land.

The governor's veto of funds for Inter-Valley Ranch has no effect on another proposal to provide state funds toward purchase of 40 acres of wilderness in Cherry Canyon near Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge. The state Legislature set aside $537,000 for purchase of that site from personalized auto license fees.

La Canada Flintridge has agreed to pay $179,000 of the $716,000 purchase price of the property, known as Cherry Canyon Phase 2 and owned by USC. A 55-acre park site in Cherry Canyon was acquired by the city last year.

The governor took no action to veto that portion of the budget, which still requires his signature.

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