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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mayor Sam Exclusive: Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to pay $495.000 for 25% of Elephant Hill that City of Los Angeles barrowed $9,000,000 to purchase from Councilman Huizar campaign fundraiser client

The Elephant Hill Land Bank set aside for Joe Edmiston's land empire.
Pause with me as we flashback to the day when CD 14 City Councilman Jose Huizar became a hero to the myopic Northeast LA Green Community as the LA Times reported on November 3, 2009.
The Los Angeles City Council voted today to settle a lawsuit over a contested 24-home subdivision planned for El Sereno, agreeing to buy the property for $9 million so it can be converted into a park.
The developers of the property, Monterey Hills Investors, sued the city last year after the council demanded more environmental review of the project, planned for a site known as Elephant Hill.

Councilman Jose Huizar said the city would borrow money in the short term to pay for the purchase of the 19-acre site. Over the long term the city will seek state funding to help defray the cost, he said.
"This is an environmental justice victory because proper environmental review was not conducted" on the planned subdivision, said Huizar, whose district includes El Sereno. 
Not all were ready to give Councilman Huizar credit that day as we noted here at Mayor Sam, but some 21 months later, the true winners and losers in this deal are becoming ever clearer. More on that after the bloggin leap.
As we noted in bold above the key conponants in the Elephant Hill deal was the $9,000,000 payment to the Monterey Hills Investors who were represented by prominent land use attorney and lobbyist Ben Resnik, who just so happen to moonlight as a Huizar campaign fundraiser as noted by the Times and prompted this  follow up speculation from this blogger.

Reznik, who has held campaign fundraisers for Huizar and other city elected officials, had no comment on today's vote, saying the settlement had not been finalized. As he prepared for the damages phase of the case, Reznik gave notice that his client intended to depose Huizar, Councilman Ed Reyes and possibly employees in the mayor's office, according to a report obtained by The Times.

** Hmmm, maybe the likes of Huizar, Reyes with the possible Mayor Villaraigosa's staffers in the mix, use the city treasury to "cry uncle" or was this part of an grand charade to improve the profit margin on devalue property, to help a political donor? 

Now we fast forward to Monday, August 29,2011 Agenda of the Board of Directors of the Santa Monica Conservancy and take note of item # 13.

13. Consideration of resolution authorizing grant of Proposition 84 funds to Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for acquisition and improvements at Elephant Hill, El Sereno, City of Los Angeles..

...... and what comes next should lead to an investigation by the City Attorney and District Attorney. From a staff report authored by SMMC Executive Director Joseph Edmiston.

Sixteen parcels totaling five acres were appraised by the City at $495,000.  An additional two
parcels on Pullman Street may be acquired if funding for drainage improvements is awarded,
subject to the City's agreement.  This grant application includes up to $50,000 for minimal park
improvements necessary to provide public access.  This would also constitute a local match for
the State grant funding source.  Due to these variables, the MRCA grant application to the
Conservancy is for an amount not to exceed $636,500.

If the same appraisal rate applies to the rest of the 20 acres city-owned Elephant Hills property, then the value of the land should be $2 million dollars, not $9 million paid to Resnik's client.Even if the rest of the land were to value $4 million, the city was screwed bigtime on this Huizar crafted deal.

In conclusion the best course on action with the facts above is to call upon the City Attorney to put a stay upon any land sales at Elephant Hill until it could be assured that the city coffers are reinburst fully and the background on the original Elephant Hill settlement is properly investigated.
Your thoughts............... 
Scott Johnson in CD 14

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Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

Looks like Red Spot has uncovered more looting by the crooks at City Hall. Nice work, Scott.

August 25, 2011 7:40 AM  

Blogger g said:

unfortunately,the city attorney's office seems to love development deals,so much for serving the public. the only real chance we have as a city is to organize adding to our numbers using the petition process to gain crediblity to the cause. just complaining or explaining is not enough. we need numbers to move these political gods to learn who is their to serve who. huizar like his latin political friends are working to eliminate all whites,jews,and blacks from any true representative position in our government. gloria molina is working to add more latin representation in the supervisors office. this is on going. don't be left in the dark when protesting will mean nothing except if you live in a latin stronghold. it's too bad that immigration is playing out this way.

August 25, 2011 1:49 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

"G", did the Caps Lock key break on you? : )

August 25, 2011 2:32 PM  

Blogger Fred said:

Wow, Is it your intent to misrepresent the facts or you simply don't understand the facts. What you report may be sensational but it's not the entire story. Formost property values have gone down considerably since 2009. Furthermore, with the 19acres now a park the remaining parcels no longer have access roads, and are of little to no value for a devloper. That is why the price is much lower.

September 06, 2011 10:11 PM  

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