LA City Council denies zone change

Los Angeles City Council denied Snowball’s application for a zone change on the property

On December 12, 2019, the Los Angeles City Council denied Snowball’s application for a zone change on the property.

Snowball has an agreement with the Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA) that it conditioned on the City’s approval of the proposed development. That agreement was going to provide park space and a fund that would go to the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition for development of a memorial in the park. The purchase of the parkland anticipated in this agreement requires the MRCA to raise funds to purchase the park property. Not all of that funding is in place.

At this time, we do not know what Snowball’s position will be regarding the agreement inasmuch as the City did not approve the project.

The MRCA, VOICE and the TCDS Coalition will all be working to keep the agreement in place even though the City denied the zone change and will, of course, continue to try to negotiate an even better deal.

Snowball’s choices:

  • It could negotiate a revised project with the City.
  • It could sue the City and win, either directly or after appeals, and then build the development. It could either continue to honor the agreement with the MRCA (We would get a park.) or ignore it (We might not get a park.).
  • It could sue the City and lose and be left with at least three choices.
    1. It could walk away from this development and sell the property.
    2. It could revise the development and go back through the City process.
    3. It could sit on the land and do nothing.

Kay Oda said, “VOICE ( volunteers organized in conserving the environment), long opposed this project, and sought to have this place be open space. However, we much appreciate Snowball West has agreed to sell some of the project to the MRCA (Mountain Recreation & Conservation Authority) for a park. We also appreciate the city’s historic status for a small oak grove on the property.”

Photo Credit: Dr. Russell Endo, 11/19
Board member, Donna Sugimoto is pointing to the map.

Photo Credit: Dr. Russell Endo, 11/19
The historic site is located on the Verdugo Hills Golf Course corner driving range.