Commentary on the Griffith Park Advisory Board March 2017 Meeting

Griffith Park Advisory Board March 2017 Meeting Commentary

I am Sarajane Schwartz, and I represent the 85 homes on Beachwood Drive that almost unanimously support the closing of the park access at the end of our street.

This case (Sunset Ranch vs Los Angeles) was about private property, process, and safety. The judge recognized the ranch’s private property rights in being able to safely operate their almost hundred year old business on their easement road. The court recognized that there had never been a proper process to make this an official entrance to the park.

It is my understanding that two people, Tom Labonge and Kris Sullivan, acted independently of their groups and jerry-rigged in a switchback and parking lot without proper process, hearings, or studies. There were none. If you can find the proper paperworkand records on this, I will gladly retract this statement and apologize.

The result of the lack of these studies left us with this unsafe, chaotic situation on Beachwood Drive where daily we can have thousands of people including many children IN the street because there are no sidewalks on our narrow, winding, substandard street. I don’t know of any other residential area outside of Hollywoodland in the City—including Canyon Drive which is wider and has sidewalks—that is impacted in this way.

Safety is the most important consideration. It is a mystery to me why someone had to sue the City in order to alleviate this dangerous situation. This organization and other City agencies should have been the ones leading the charge to shut this down before someone was killed. Anyone who has had any connection to this bootlegged, dangerous trail head should be breathing a sigh of relief.

In the court, and I was there, the words used in conjunction with the closing of this so-called entrance were “immediately”, “in a day or two”, or “by the end of the week.” That time has passed, and we’re still waiting for the judge’s instructions to be carried out. The judge also requested that the electronic sign at Beachwood and Franklin be used to send people specifically to Canyon Drive.

The real solution for many of these problems lies in Griffith Park developing more access from theeastern and the northern sides away from residential neighborhoods.