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Land: Controversy Over Marquez Canyon

July 17, 1994

The "dispute" over the Marquez Canyon plan for an antique car museum and botanical garden (Page 3, June 30) comes as no surprise. Community benefits and needs are constantly shunted by well-intended leaders who lack skills in creating forces that bring us together, and overcome the resistance to those who raise the false cry, "Not in my back yard."

In this instance--the antique museum and botanical garden--the Marquez Knolls Neighborhood Assn. is right. Even a "visit by appointment" idea won't answer the traffic bottleneck and hazard problem. To locate at Marquez and Sunset is to overlook the fact Marquez is too narrow at that point, and Sunset is on a dangerous curve.

That the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy is behind the plan is troublesome. They shouldn't have borrowed money in the first place from a trust fund. Weren't such funds restricted?

And I find their boasting about what they did at the Temescal Gateway a matter of judgment. Beautiful as it may be to some, it remains a screened parking lot, and not the play area we need.

Hyman H. Haves

Pacific Palisades

*

The article in the June 30 issue concerning the dispute over the sale of Marquez Canyon in the Pacific Palisades mistakenly gives the impression that the opposition to the sale of the canyon by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy for private development comes only from the adjacent neighborhood. To the contrary, the opposition is communitywide. Leaders of many community organizations have joined against the sale, including Lila Gordon, the present Community Council president, and Randy Young and Rita Dellesio, past presidents of the Community Council, none of whom live anywhere near Marquez. The sale is also opposed by several community organizations including the Sports Council.

It is community concerns and not neighborhood concerns that drive the opposition. First, as Community by Design, the consultants to the Conservancy noted when the Palisades was originally planned, the plan called for all the canyons including Marquez to remain undeveloped open space.

In addition, the Palisades is critically short of playgrounds. We have fewer playgrounds and playing fields than any other community in Southern California. Two years ago, Councilman Braude appointed a community commission called the Task Force on Parks and Playing Fields. That task force recommended that Marquez Canyon be acquired and made into a park with a playground and a playing field.

Jack Allen

President, Palisades

Preservation Assn.

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