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SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS : Conservancy Plans to Build Access Park

July 28, 1993|KURT PITZER

In a move to provide better access to the Santa Monica Mountains, the state agency that manages parkland on the mountain range plans to build the San Fernando Valley's only drive-in access to the more than 18,000 acres of open space there.

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy plans to authorize the use of a $175,000 grant from the California Transportation Commission for a park on about 15 acres at the south end of Reseda Boulevard, conservancy project analyst Carolyn Barr said.

The park, which will include a parking lot, restrooms, picnic areas and maps of local trails, will be a few hundred feet north of the dirt stretch of Mulholland Drive and a short drive from the Ventura Freeway.

"One of our primary objectives is to make sure that the parks and mountains are more accessible to a larger public, and not just the people who live adjacent to them," Barr said. "We hope this will be an easy way to get into the mountains for everyone--all they have to do is just jet up from the freeway on Reseda."

The only other access sites to the mountain ridge that include adequate parking are in the Topanga and Pacific Palisades areas, Barr said. A gate to the Reseda-area park, to be placed just south of Winford Drive, will be closed between sunset and sunrise, Barr said.

The project also will include importing dirt from surrounding areas to rebuild hills leveled for the proposed extension of Reseda Boulevard, a plan that was finally rejected by the Los Angeles City Council earlier this year, Barr said. The re-formed hills will be landscaped with shade trees and plants native to the area.

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