The City of Santa Clarita and County of Los Angeles have finalized their negotiations and are in escrow to acquire 842 acres in Elsmere Canyon, which will expand the open space and continue to preserve the canyon that almost became the world’s largest dump.
“The City and County have been negotiating for months to put this property into public ownership,” said city spokesperson Gail Ortiz. Of the total $6 million purchase price, the city is allocating $3.75 million dollars from the Open Space Preservation Fund, the county is putting in $1.75 million and $500 thousand is coming from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
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Of the 2,600 acres considered Elsmere Canyon, 1,200 acres are part of the Angeles National Forest.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich mentioned the county’s commitment to Elsmere during his State of the County speech in May, citing the importance of establishing a connection between the Santa Clarita Valley and the Rim of the Valley corridor.
Elsmere Canyon was made part of the Rim of the Valley through legislation sponsored by local representatives George Runner and Cameron Smyth, and was signed into law in October 2009. The Rim of the Valley includes Whitney, Placerita, Sand and Elsmere Canyons, as well as the mountains surrounding the San Fernando Valley, La Crescenta, Simi and Conejo Valleys.
The final vote on the expenditures is expected from both the county and the city in October.