Harbor Commission Passes Off South Central Farm Land Use Decision to L.A. City Council
A meeting today by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners found the matter of the future use of the land that was once the South Central Farm still undetermined, when the group opted to pass on making the call, instead sending the issue to the Los Angeles City Council for action. The Board says their inaction is largely due to the property's non-relevance to the Port of Los Angeles.The property has had its fair share of legal tangles:
[In 1980] the city acquired the land from developer Ralph Horowitz using eminent domain laws and planned to build a trash incinerator on the site. Due to resident protests, the eco-unfriendly plan was abandoned. The city then leased the site to a local food bank who allowed the farmers to benefit from the land. The plot was later sold to the Port of Los Angeles in an effort to balance the budget. Since the city failed to build on the land per the eminent domain rules, [in 2003] Horowitz sued and bought the property back under one stipulation - 2.6 acres must be set aside for a park.
One person on the City Council who was part of the team that put together the original deal has done a bit of a turn about on the matter; Councilwoman Jan Perry recently "asked commissioners to revise the deal with Horowitz to allow him to keep that section of land and instead pay around $3.6 million for renovations and programs at existing parks in the neighborhood," explains L.A. Now.
Perry's proposal has met with objections, and several protesters showed up to today's Board meeting. One protester said when it comes to this controversial property, the City is "going back on a backroom deal.”