View of the Laurel Canyon area
Credit: The City Project

Hollywood Hills residents are trying to buy a mountain to save it from the clutches of real estate developers.

The Laurel Canyon Association – a local neighbourhood group – and Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife (CLAW) have banded together to raise $1.6 million for a 17-acre ridge in the Santa Monica Mountains.

‘I always get embroiled in these one-off disputes – this home, that home. It felt very reactionary,’ said Jamie Hall, president of the Laurel Canyon Association. ‘We wanted to do this a different way.’

The ‘Let’s Buy A Mountain’ campaign was born out of Laurel Canyon residents’ growing frustration that the fast pace of development was not matched by the infrastructure to sustain the area. Locals also wanted to protect the bobcats, coyotes and deer living in the leafy hillside.

Let's Buy a Mountain Laurel Canyon
Bird’s eye view of the site, between Lookout Mountain Avenue and Stanley Hills Drive

Under the proposed deal, the neighbourhood association and CLAW have to come up with $1.6 million over the next 18 months, starting with a $50,000 deposit by early next month.

If the acquisition goes ahead, the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority will maintain the green space and Laurel Canyon residents will hold the power to block development.

‘Please help us buy this mountain,’ added Hall. ‘It’s not as crazy as you think.’

The hillside was once home to musicians such as Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison and Joni Mitchell, who wrote an album titled Ladies of the Canyon inspired by the area.

[via the LA Times]



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