News of a January 14 City Council Agenda Item proposing the sacrifice of the hundreds of acres of Charmlee Wilderness Park in exchange for a few acres of BluffPark came as a shock to me.
I have several concerns.
Councilmembers House and La Monte are proposing to give away the city's premier park - a birthright of our city's first years of incorporation. I was a member of that first City Council which accepted the Park from L.A. County.
The present Council has no ethical right to undo this action. The city should demand better use of the conservancy's portion of Bluff Park, not bargain away a jewel. How many coastal communities can boast of a wilderness park in their midst?
Have any of this increasingly urban oriented (e.g. lighted football field) council even visited the park or are aware of its beauty? This 82-year-old man will be happy to take them on a hike (or anyone else, for that matter).
The deed restrictions may slow Joe Edmiston, czar of the conservancy, up, but he proposes to allow camping on the portion of the park not in the city limits (but probably will use the Charmlee Park access road).
Overnight camping anywhere up there will present a very real fire hazard for the homes below. The fire that destroyed my home in 1978 first swept through Charmlee.
Last of ll, I am a Docent at Charmlee and enjoy helping lead chiidren from urban, low income schools on hikes.
With two votes already, I'm afraid it will take a tremendous outcry from the residents of Malibu to stop it.
Walt Keller, Malibu
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