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New Gate in the Hollywood Hills Keeps Out Squatters, Closes Off Runyon Canyon Trailhead

Photo by CharlieChu via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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The Hollywood Hills has a new gated community, at least temporarily.

The city council has approved a new gate on Solar Drive, which closes off a popular access point for Runyon Canyon hikers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Neighbors say the road used to be quiet, until some ne'er-do-wells used an abandoned mansion to conduct drug deals and hold raves. While new owners took over and the raves have been halted, the partying continues on the street:

Now, residents spend their mornings armed with trash bags, cleaning up used condoms, beer bottles and drug paraphernalia. It's gross and disruptive, they say, so they asked permission to install a gate at the end of the block to keep troublemakers out.
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The gate is going to be up for 18 months on a trial basis. Even though pedestrians can get through, the gate has riled some hikers. Longtime hiker Rick Dickey said there is something unseemly about officials cutting off access to what is already a very exclusive part of the city.

"It's a public road and we pay for it with public money," Dickey told the Times. "It should be for all."