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Portantino Helps Secure Grant to Preserve Altadena Property

Assemblymember Works Closely with Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy to Secure $100,000 Grant for Important Open Space Preservation Project

Los Angeles, CA - Last night, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy voted to authorize a grant of $100,000 to the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy for the purchase of Millard Canyon. The grant comes on the heels of a $375,000 grant from the State Wildlife Conservation Board. The $100,000 is necessary to help complete the purchase.

"It's an important piece of the financial puzzle to forever save Millard Canyon," an ecstatic Portantino proclaimed. "It's a great day for the residents of Altadena and surrounding communities. I am very pleased to have joined my friends at the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy in advocating for Millard."

Anthony Portantino represents the 44th Assembly District. He is a current Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy Advisor, and previously served as Vice Chair of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Board. Portantino has worked closely with the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy as well as neighborhood groups and cities within his district to preserve several parcels of land throughout the foothills.

As noted in the SMMC staff report:

Millard Canyon is within the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed and lies just west of the La Viña development in Altadena. The Los Angeles County-imposed La Viña development dedication requirements for open space and a trail have been the subject of litigation to enforce the dedications, but the acquisition of the parcels that are the subject of this grant request from the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy are not related to the La Viña development nor the litigation. However, preservation of the subject parcels would be most desirable and a complement to the open space dedication. In fact, over a decade ago the Conservancy was approached by the estate of the former landowner to acquire the parcels. The parcels are within a riparian corridor, contain significant  natural resources, and lie adjacent to Canyon Crest Road, a public road.

The Conservancy granted funds in April 2002 to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) in order to make a bid at the Probate Court sale, with the amount based on an appraisal. But even with additional funds added by the then-named Altadena Foothills Conservancy, the MRCA was outbid at the Probate Court sale by a private party who soon sought to develop the Millard Canyon land. His development plans have not proved successful and the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy has arranged a purchase agreement with the landowner.

The State Wildlife Conservation Board has already approved a grant of $375,000 to the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy at its August meeting, anticipating the Conservancy's willingness to provide this matching grant of up to $100,000 from its remaining Los Angeles River Watershed Proposition 84 funds.

"I am very grateful to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy for this grant and to Assemblymember Portantino for working with the Arroyos and Foothills Board on crafting the request and being such a tireless advocate for open space preservation in our region," commented Tim Wendler, President of the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy Board.

In addition to the action taken to approve the grant to the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy Monday Night, Portantino also spoke in favor of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy's grant to the City of La Cañada Flintridge for "the ultimate destination" improvement project in Cherry Canyon. Both the ultimate destination and Millard Canyon are in the 44th Assembly District.

 

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