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Donated Parkland Sometimes Is Useless

January 12, 2003

I was delighted to see that retired state Assemblyman John Quimby received recognition for his important contribution to the quality of life of the people of California ("An Unsung Legacy of Open Space, Greenery," Jan. 9). Unfortunately, his vision and the legislation he created to ensure parks and open space are not always applied in the way I think he intended.

Here in L.A., builders offer up, and the city accepts, useless land in place of cash. The Recreation and Parks Department is then saddled with maintaining this land when there is no money to do so.

A case in point is Carey Ranch Park in Sylmar. The builders could not develop this parcel because an earthquake fault runs through it, so it was turned over to the city to satisfy the Quimby requirement. This park has sat virtually unused and deteriorating because the city lacks funds for basic maintenance, let alone any amenities. If we want to really honor Quimby we should apply the law that bears his name with greater care.

Michael A. McNamara

Sylmar

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