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Possible Dog Park for Hollywood Hills, or Large Condo

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As you drive "over the hill" from the Valley to Hollywood along Laurel Canyon Blvd., there's a sign there asking for donations to save some plots of land from development. No, it isn't a citizens' group or a non-profit for wilderness, it's a government agency. "Donated funds needed immediately to save these six acres under option by part agency," it reads.

In a cash-strapped time for governments, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is asking for help. The property owner has six lots selling for a total of $5 million. Kindly, he has given the MRCA time to raise funds to buy the property and keep it as open space rather than six 5,000 sq. ft. homes, a condo development or some variation thereof.

The Authority wants to restore as much oak woodland on it as possible and since the land abuts with the Laurel Canyon Park, a popular dog park, they will be looking into the possibility of turning it into a dog-walking trail.

$200,000 has already been paid out of the Authority's funds and another $100,000, mostly from 85 private donations, will be paid Friday. $15,000 of that was given by the City of Los Angeles -- Councilman Jack Weiss, who represents the area, submitted the request. Starting in six months, MCRA will have to pay $25,000 a month until next June when their contract with the developer expires. It is too early to tell what will happen after that point or if funds will be raised to purchase the property, according to Paul Edelman, Chief of Natural Resources and Planning.

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"People might take it for granted," Edelman says, warning that most people never knew it was private land to begin with. Edelman leads the Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Open Space Fundraising Drive and says that naming rights are available for a large donar.

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