MHIA and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Seek to Preserve Flat-Top
In January 2004, Montecitans came out to the River Center in force to ask Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) to preserve Flat-Top as a natural open space. The allotted chair space was used up and the crowd spilled into the foyer. MHIA's Open Space/Land Use Committee Chair Tom Berg in conjuction with Virginia Palmer and Jim Stewart of People for Parks have put in vast amounts of energy to make a proposal to SMMC supporting the preservation efforts.
People for Parks' extensive report to the SMMC can be found here. (photo of Flat Top by Casey Reagan)
We are seeing development all over the wild hills we cherish. MHIA thanks Tom Berg, People for Parks, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and all of the fine Montecitans and fellow community members who want to keep Montecito Heights a Wilderness in the City by preserving our few last remaining acres of natural open space as they are today.
The process has already begun with the hill saved by Nancy Smith.
Nancy Smith spearheaded the efforts to preserve Mt. Olympus hill above Avenue 33. Nancy and many other Montecito Heights community members worked to defeat a proposed high-density, low-income housing development proposed almost a decade ago. Developers planned to cut off the top of the hill in order to build. Eventually the parcel was purchased with Prop 40 funds. During this process, Nancy Smith and People for Parks' Virginia Palmer toured Mt. Olympus as well as the larger Mt. Olympus II (more commonly known as Flat-Top Hill). Palmer (who still refers to Flat-Top as Mt. Olympus II) became convinced that Flat-Top is an amazing wild open-space treasure that should be preserved.
After the wonderful turnout for the Jan. 26, 2004, meeting, SMMC's Chuck Arnold said, "Now that the Conservancy is informed we will go about doing the business that we do. We will work to have the land protected."
The Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council in one of its very first motions voted to support SMMC preservation efforts for Flat-Top on February 12, 2004.
Read the People for Parks Report