State Rejects DWP’s Bid For Los Leones Property

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Local historian Randy Young worked with a group of volunteers, the “Glamazons,” to restore Los Leones park, which is owned by the State of California.

(CTN’s editor wrote this story in May 2015 and it was published in a local paper.  DWP did indeed try to find alternate locations.)

The State of California has rejected LADWP’s plea to buy state park land at Los Leones Gateway Park for the proposed Distributing Station 104 in western Pacific Palisades.

In a March 2 letter to the DWP, California Department of Parks and Recreation Superintendent-Angeles District Craig Sap wrote: “We cannot support the sale of this important parcel of state park land for the industrial use you have proposed.”

Sap also referenced letters dated October 2010 and February 2013, in which DWP had made a similar request, but the state had also rejected.

The superintendent said that before the CDPR can sell any park land, it must first find that property is surplus. “Due to the acquisition history of the Los Leones parcel, the subsequent intense community involvement in its restoration and the significant investment we have made in improvement and development of the entire site from the end of Los Leones Drive to Sunset Boulevard, it is impossible for us to make that finding.”

Sap’s four-page letter detailed the chronology of the site restoration and also noted that in addition to the DWP’s attempt to purchase the land, prior attempts had been made by Temple Kehillat Israel and the Palisades-Malibu YMCA in 1991; The Four Square Church in 1999; and the Chabad of Pacific Palisades in 2009.

“Each time our response has been that the property is not surplus and cannot be sold for any other purpose than that for which it was acquired: recreation and trail access,” Sap wrote.

He concluded: “In summary, CDPR will not entertain the sale of a portion of lower Los Leones Canyon in Topanga State Park to the LADWP. Any further exploration of this option by the LADWP would be counterproductive to your goal of expeditiously serving your community’s energy needs.”

DWP spokesperson Carol Tucker was contacted by the Palisades News about the letter. “LADWP will be looking for alternate sites,” she replied.

A new power distributing station is needed in the Palisades because the existing distributing station (DS 29), located at Via de la Paz and Sunset, is working at its capacity. According to the DWP, the station–built in 1937–will exceed its capacity within the next six years due to increasing electricity demand, which has grown particularly in the Marquez area.

After an outcry about the proposed station going on land owned by DWP next to Marquez Elementary School’s lower yard, a 15-member task force was formed in cooperation with LAUSD and former City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office. The group met biweekly starting in 2012 and identified 15 possible sites, placing the top four sites into tier one: two were near Paseo Miramar off Via Nichols, one was between the upper Bel-Air Bay Club and Malibu Village and the fourth was the old Bernheimer Gardens site off Sunset. Those sites were considered to have the lowest community impact.

The second tier of five sites, including the Los Leones park land, were considered alternate sites. The third tier of six sites were considered unacceptable and included the land owned by DWP next to Marquez.

Tucker was asked if the DWP had explored the Tier 1 sites. “We don’t have any further information on the project right now,” she said on May 13. Visit:




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