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Ranch Property Dedicated in Honor of Deukmejian : Environment: The more than 700 acres of city-owned land in the Crescenta Valley will remain as an open-space preserve.

December 14, 1989|JANE BAILIE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The 702-acre Inter-Valley Ranch, the largest remaining undeveloped parcel in Glendale, was dedicated Saturday as the Gov. George Deukmejian Wilderness Park.

The property, in the Crescenta Valley at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, includes the parts of Cooks and Dunsmore canyons. It contains the Dunsmore Winery complex, which stands in a 1911 building, the oldest in the Crescenta Valley.

The property will remain as an open-space preserve, said Nello Iacono, director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services for Glendale.

The city is considering improvements, including the construction of a visitors' center and equestrian arena, the conversion of the former winery into a youth education center and the upgrading of park trails, Iacono said.

The city purchased the land from the William Bliss Trust for $5.2 million. The city received $2 million for the acquisition from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy as part of Proposition 70, the $776-million Coastal and Park Land Bond Act approved in 1988. The remaining $3.2 million will come from Glendale municipal funds.

The ranch had been the center of intense development debates since the early 1960s, when the owners of the property proposed numerous housing projects.

The city won the battle to maintain the land as an open-space preserve in February, 1986. Deukmejian vetoed a $2-million appropriation for the purchase in June of that year, saying that such funding should require a park bond act.

The city formalized its option agreement to purchase the property in March, 1987, with $3.2 million in municipal funds. The state later approved the $2-million appropriation in July, 1988, following passage of the Coastal and Park Land Bond Act.

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