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Speak Out on the Future of Griffith Park

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The Mt. Hollywood Trail in Griffith Park | Photo by Steve Zaslavsky via Flickr

Environmental and neighborhood groups are organizing to save Griffith Park from the possibility of development. Last month, Col. Griffith J. Griffith's grandson and the Griffith J. Griffith Charitable Trust put in an application to formally preserve the park by getting it designated as a historic landmark.

"We're doing it to stop commercialization," the grandson told the Daily News last month. "They want to build aerial trams, hotels and build restaurants. "We don't need any of it. I believe my great-grandfather would be turning over in his grave." Lots of people support the idea, but one person, Councilman Tom LaBonge is wary of limiting development under the guise of a possible need for infrastructure for things such as water, power and sewer.

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Since the Daily news article, groups near and far are doing a grassroots campaign to support the application to decalre the park a City Historic-Cultural Monument. In a call to action e-mail from the Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council, they say that if the park becomes a monument, that "it would not prevent further development." Rather, "it would help to ensure that historical aspects of the Park are preserved and that the people of Los Angeles have notice and opportunity to be heard on significant developments." The full e-mail is with background, instructions on how to voice your support and documents, is below:

YOUR CHANCE TO BE HEARD ON THE FUTURE OF GRIFFITH PARK Now is the time for you to express your views to City Hall and to tell
your elected and appointed officials that you support the Griffith
family's Application to have all of Griffith Park justly declared a City
Historic-Cultural Monument.

Alarmed by proposals over the last few years to commercialize Griffith
Park by building hotels, restaurants, tramways and numerous parking
structures, Col. Griffith J. Griffith's heirs submitted a 350 page
Application which just barely passed its first vote for continued review
at a recent meeting of the Cultural Heritage Commission. Approval of
the Application by the Commission and then by the City Council would
bring Griffith Park the same status now enjoyed by many other parks and
treasured Los Angeles locations. While it would not prevent further
development, it would help to ensure that historical aspects of the Park
are preserved and that the people of Los Angeles have notice and
opportunity to be heard on significant developments.

The Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council and over 30 other community organizations have voted to support the Application.
Now it is time for each of us to make our
individual voices heard. Some City officials and private interests have
asserted that the Application be limited to only certain parts of the
Park. This would diminish the status of Griffith Park as a whole, and
leave parts of the Park unprotected from possibly unwise and
unsupervised development (as well as ineligible for historic funding).
This despite the facts that expressed concerns about impacting City
services appear to be unfounded and that other Los Angeles parks and
facilities, including City Hall itself, have thrived after being
protected as Historic-Cultural Monuments.

Here is what you need to do NOW.

1. Make your views known by sending letters or e-mails to Councilmember
Tom LaBonge and the Cultural Heritage Commission at the addresses below:

Hon. Tom LaBonge, City Hall- room 480, 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles,
CA 90012
Cultural Heritage Commission, City Hall room 620, 200 N. Spring St., Los
Angeles, CA 90012

Tell them that "I strongly support the designation of the whole of
Griffith Park as an Historic Cultural Monument. I hope that you agree
and will support it as well."

Please customize your letter to increase its impact. Please be good
enough to send a copy to us at

2. Attend the next hearing: The Cultural Heritage Commission will be
voting on the matter again at their Thursday, October 2nd meeting. It
begins about 10am on the 10th floor of City Hall. It is open to the
public and your views are welcomed.

3. Follow the progress of the Application and get more information by
going to or by clicking here.

Our GGPNC website has additional information including a copy of the Application [pdf] and the CHC staff report, a list of supporting organizations, and more sample draft letters for you to use. There is even a survey form where you can submit your support.

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to all your contacts and enlist
them in the fight to preserve all of Griffith Park.