The public safety fair, co-sponsored by Councilmember Traci Park and the Brentwood and Pacific Palisades Community Council on June 10 in Simon Meadow was rich with information, but meager with attendees.
The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness was among the organizations represented at the event. A Paseo Miramar resident complained about an area on State Park Land, where there hasn’t been brush clearance and seems to be a magnet for some homeless.
Those residents were told to send a picture of the area and the location of the possible encampment to firstname.lastname@example.org. They asked, “is the email checked?” and Taskforce members assured the resident that emails are checked daily.
Once PPTFH is aware of possible locations, then the LAPD beach detail, which also patrols the canyons and hillsides surrounding Pacific Palisades will go to the area to see if people are illegally camped.
Those Paseo residents also wondered why brush clearance had not been done on state land.
Circling the News spoke to Warren Sutton, Brush Clearance inspector for Los Angeles Fire, who was also at the event.
He confirmed that L.A. City will cite the state for not clearing the brush, but that doesn’t ensure it will be done.
“The state land is pretty concerning,” he said.
Several Castellammare residents who were at the event said state park land abuts portions of Castellammare.
They asked the state to clear the brush, but when the state would not, they raised nearly $140,000 in private money in 2019 to have the land cleared. “It was our money, our insurance and our liability,” the residents said.
Sutton confirmed that even though the state of California makes homeowners do brush clearance on state land, the state also requires that the homeowners get a permit before they can start.
According to the Castellammare residents, once they had a permit, the state came in dictated what could be removed and what had to remain: some plants were sprayed green, that meant they couldn’t be removed and others orange, which meant residents could remove them.
Castellammare residents, who did this in 2019, 2020 and 2021, are not sure they can raise the funds to clear state lands, again.
They even wrote to try to receive a California State grant for the express purpose of paying for brush clearance but were denied.
The Inspector said he can cite the state, but he cannot cite the residents for failing to do brush clearance on state land.
The Inspector said his other concerns in this area are the areas where there is only one way in and out, such as Mandeville Canyon and Paseo Miramar. He was asked about the Palisades Highlands, and he said the Lachman fire road was available to residents.
At the last Pacific Palisades Community Council on June 8, several residents said a wall had been built by a private resident across the trait to prevent egress.
Sutton told CTN that he was not aware of that issue but he would check.
In a June 16 email to CTN, Sutton wrote, “I was on Lachman Lane. There is a gate on each end as there always has been. One gate needs some repair, but still opens when it is unlocked.”
Sutton said Highland residents could still use the fire road in an emergency.
1. TRAVEL TO THE INTERSECTION OF PALISADES DRIVE AND PIEDRA MORADA (INDICATED ON THE MAP AS #1).
2. TURN ONTO PIEDRA MORADA DRIVE AND TRAVEL SOUTH TO MONTE HERMOSO DRIVE.
3. MAKE A RIGHT TURN ONTO MONTE HERMOSO DRIVE, TRAVEL WEST TO THE FIRE ROAD ENTRANCE (IMMEDIATE LEFT TURN AFTER TURNING ONTO MONTE HERMOSO DRIVE (INDICATED ON THE MAP AS #2).
4. TRAVEL THROUGH THE FIRE ROAD, TO LACHMAN LANE.
5. ONCE ON LACHMAN LANE, DRIVE SOUTH TO VIA FLORESTA, TURN LEFT ONTO VIA FLORESTA (TRAVELING EAST).
6. ONCE UPON VIA FLORESTA, CONTINUE TO BIENVENEDA AVENUE AND TURN RIGHT (TRAVELING SOUTH) TO SUNSET BLVD.