Portola Avenue & Lathrop Street
Los Angeles, California 90032
Elephant Hill in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles may seem like an unassuming bump in the concrete jungle, but it's been at the center of a lengthy battle over land use for the last few decades. Developers have been trying to turn the 20-acre hillside property -- nicknamed "The Heavens" by residents -- into houses since at least 1993. It wasn't until 2009 that City Council, with Councilman José Huizar from District 14 taking the reins, officially ended the battle by settling with developers for $9 million, thusly purchasing the land, with guarantees it would be soon designated as an open space park.
That promise partially came to fruition in 2013, when the Council sold a five-acre section of Elephant Hill to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for $495,000.
And don't worry too much about the other 15 acres of Elephant Hill. That land's been designated as "open space" until the City Council finds other agencies like the MRCA to make a purchase. File this one under: Good guys win.