City could add nearly five acres to Runyon Canyon Park

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Plans for a fancy, branded basketball court in Runyon Canyon Park were scrapped earlier this year, but now, the park could get something even better: more territory. As reported by LAist, Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu put forth a motion at Wednesday’s City Council meeting calling on city staff to prepare a report on the possible purchase of 4.76 acres of private land at the western edge of the park.

That parcel, located at 2450 Solar Drive, is part of the lot occupied by the area’s notorious Pink Mansion. The massive (and ugly) Mediterranean-style home was built in 1993, but has been variously abandoned or filled with partiers and squatters for much of the last decade.

The property last sold in 2014 and most recently became the site of weekly pot parties thrown by Michael Straumietis, CEO of Advanced Nutrients, who evidently goes by “Marijuana Don.”

Estevan Montemayor, spokesperson for Ryu, confirms the city isn’t interested in purchasing the house itself—merely a portion of the huge parcel that it sits on. The property includes land that is often frequented by hikers already, many of them unaware of the delineation between park and private land.

“While [the area around the house] is open space now, there is a concern that a developer could purchase the property,” Montemayor said. “At the end of the day, this is a great opportunity to acquire land for Runyon Canyon Park.

The sale is being arranged by the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit organization that oversees the creation of parks and green spaces. The Trust has about $4.45 million to put toward the parcel’s $8.75 million asking price. Ryu wants the city to contribute the remaining $4.3 million using funds from the park-funding Proposition K ballot measure approved by voters in 1996.

Once the land is acquired, the Trust would then donate it to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, which would maintain the parcel and fully incorporate it into the rest of the park

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