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VALLEY FOCUS | Woodland Hills

Pierce College Board Backs Development

April 29, 1998|ERIC RIMBERT

A Pierce College advisory board unanimously approved a $10-million plan Tuesday to turn 200 acres of pasture and cropland into an agriculture education center, golf course and driving range.

Under the plan, put forward by developer Eddie Milligan, golf revenues would help fund the college's agriculture programs.

The proposal, approved by the Pierce College council, would require approval from the college president, the Los Angeles Community College District and the City Council.

The plan would set aside 20 to 30 acres for the new agriculture facility--which would include an equestrian center--and 150 to 175 acres for the golf course and driving range. Hoping to increase the chances for approval of the golf facilities, Milligan added the agriculture building to a plan he put forth in March.

Milligan estimates the course could generate as much as $750,000 for the agriculture department.

"There are too many people who benefit from this situation to turn it down," Milligan said. "How could they turn it down?"

The plan drew criticism from a community group opposed to developing the rural acreage.

"This is the last place in Los Angeles where someone can see agriculture production in action," said Margo Murman, president of the Coalition to Save the Farm. "We would prefer that some other arrangement other than a golf course be used to raise money for an agriculture school."

The proposed development site is between Mason and De Soto avenues, just south of Victory Boulevard.

Milligan operates an equestrian center at Hansen Dam. Late last year, Milligan settled a lease dispute with the Los Angeles City Council, and was granted a 30-year lease instead of continuing the previous year-to-year arrangement.

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