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New mountain parkland opens Saturday near Calabasas

June 12, 2010 |  8:07 am

A 200-acre hilltop next to the Ventura Freeway in Calabasas will be opened as public parkland Saturday when officials mark its acquisition by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

A dedication ceremony is planned for 10 a.m. at the rugged site, northwest of where the freeway crosses Las Virgenes Road, said a spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

The $6.25-million cost of the land was financed by a $1-per-ton fee paid by trash haulers using the nearby Calabasas Landfill and the county’s Sanitation District, the spokesman said.

Once owned by entertainer Bob Hope, the property was later proposed for development with condominiums, retail shops and movie theaters.

That proposal was dropped after environmentalists complained.

More recently the hilltop was owned by real estate figure Fred Sands, who had considered turning it into a horse ranch or building homes there. Leaders of the Conservation Authority – a partnership of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and local parks districts in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley – said the new parkland will remain undeveloped.

--Bob Pool

Photos of the new parkland are available at the Yaroslavsky website.