In a move that will prevent developers from treading on preserved land, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to change the name of Chatsworth Reservoir to the Chatsworth Nature Preserve/Reservoir.
Councilman Hal Bernson, who initiated the name change, said he wanted to "make sure there was no confusion, that no one can develop the land."
"Although I had stiff zoning protections placed on the area years ago, developers continue to view the area as a potentially developable land," he said. "This name change will make it clear that the area is a protected nature preserve."
The councilman does not anticipate opposition from the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, which must approve the change.
Each year, the council receives hundreds of requests from developers who mistakenly believe the 1,300-acre area can be used to build commercial businesses such as shopping malls, Bernson said.
But the reservoir, owned by the city since 1913, has not been open to the public since 1969, when seismic safety concerns were raised and it was determined the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could no longer use it as a live reservoir.
Bernson said the area, located just north of Chatsworth, is sensitive because it is home to California oak trees, coyotes and deer, as well as Canada geese, which stop at the reservoir in late winter during their migration.
The new name, said the councilman, will now "label it for what it is."