On December 29, 2020, the State of California certified the Final EIR to bulldoze the entire Ballona Wetlands site shutting down pubic access for at least the next decade and destroying the habitat of hundreds of species, some of them protected or of threatened status. On January 28, 2021, Protect Ballona Wetlands filed a lawsuit to prevent the destruction of this last wetland ecological reserve and will be fundraising through its member organization Canyon Back Alliance, a 501(c)(3) to help defeat this terribly misguided project.

“Please note the project you want your donation applied to in the Paypal screen.” 

Namvar MegaMansion in Sullivan Wildlands

CA Department of Fish & Wildlife approved bulldozing Ballona Wetlands

Berggruen Overdevelopment in high severity fire zone

 

BERGGRUEN EVENT CENTER / INSTITUTE

COMMENT LETTERS

Your voice can still be heard : comments on the scoping, NOP and Initial Study. 

Hello Concerned Citizens: 

 

With just one click, you can reach all the important decision-makers to let them know how you feel about the Berggruen Event Center/Institute — Please personalize your letters to Councilmember Bonin and the Planning Department. It makes all the difference. We’ve included a letter and bullets if you’d like to make additional points. Feel free to write them in your own words.

The Subject Line: REF: Environmental Case No. ENV-2019-4565-EIR

Please cc communityupdate@brentwood-hills.org

CLICK HERE TO SEND YOUR EMAIL IMMEDIATELY

City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning

221 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1350 

Los Angeles, CA 90012

REF: Environmental Case No. ENV-2019-4565-EIR

Dear Councilmember Bonin and City Planner Alan Como:

My name is __________ and I reside in the Brentwood Hills community in the Santa Monica Mountains. I strongly oppose the City of Los Angeles permitting the Berggruen Institute’s Commercial project that would dramatically change the use of its property from “very low-intensity residential” to a commercial enterprise for the benefit of a private developer by utilizing a “Specific Plan” process. This process would enable Berggruen to end-run the restrictive zoning clearly set forth in the Brentwood-Pacific Palisades Community Plan and the Baseline Hillside Ordinance.

To add insult to injury, would permit the Institute to carve out its own private zone called the Berggruen Institute Specific Plan zone as well as a Berggruen Institute Open Space zone (when the property is already encumbered by highly-restrictive open space easements). This would be precedent-setting, forever changing the quality and character of our low-density residential fire-prone hillside neighborhood.

Almost exactly a year ago, our entire community was evacuated during the Getty Fire. It is unconscionable that the City would even consider approving a project that would allow a 24/7 commercial operation bringing hundreds of visitors and staff at any one time, and putting our community at risk for increased fire danger. The proposed Berggruen project would add excessive traffic to our already overly congested streets (Sepulveda, Sunset, and Mulholland), and create noise and light disturbances that will have an extreme impact on our community as well as habitat, wildlife, and public trails, and create dangerous security challenges. 

As a member of the Brentwood Hills community, I strongly oppose this project. Please put this letter in the record and add me to the notification list for the project.  

Respectfully,

[add your name]

[add your address]

 

Below are bullet points you can use to personalize your letter:

Fire and Public Safety: 

  • The Getty Fire burned acres of Berggruen’s property across the Serpentine Road which is built over Mission Canyon #8. 

  • This project would bring hundreds of strangers into our community at any one time who don’t understand the isolated and vulnerable nature of our hillsides, increasing the risk of fire and crime.

  • Over 90 percent of wildfires are started by human ignition sources.

As revealed in Berggruen’s planning documents:

  • “The Project Site includes areas that have been designated by LAFD as a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, which potentially could expose people or structures to a significant fire-related risk.” (Initial Study p. 58)

  • “The Research Institute may generate additional traffic in the vicinity which could affect emergency response.” (Initial Study p. 62)

Security: 

  • The Berggruen Institute would bring 1,000s of visitors annually, including world leaders and diplomats, increasing the risk of street closures, security, and terrorism threats. 

Land Use & Planning: 

  • The City of Los Angeles has never before allowed a Specific Plan for a private commercial development project for an individual developer to bypass the zoning code converting low-density residential to commercial zoning. Berggruen would, in essence, be creating his own zoning classification: Berggruen Institute Specific Plan. 

Please Copy communityupdate@brentwoodhills.org.

Please send your letter before the 4 pm deadline on December 21, 2020. The Planning Department’s instructions and contact information for the project are as follows: 

Please reference: Environmental Case No. ENV-2019-4565-EIR

Please email your comments to:

Councilmember Mike Bonin and City Planner Alan Como, AICP

Councilmember Bonin: councilmember.bonin@lacity.org

City Planner Alan Como: alan.como@lacity.org  

City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning

221 North Figueroa Street, Suite 1350 

Los Angeles, CA 90012

We thank you for your support!

Regards,

 

BRENTWOOD HILLS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

 

Namvar SEP Issue in Sullivan Canyon, yes again!

Namvar – Sullivan Project:  LA City Planning June 18, 2015

Thank You Vivian!

Our 1st Donor

“We must stop Berggruen

and save our animal wildlife

population and open land.”

              -Vivian Pine-White

Please, Help Us!

Vote with your feet,
your voice and support
quality of life action.

 Skirball Cultural Center – Ahmanson Auditorium

THANK YOU ALL!

  We filled the hall with over 500 neighbors who joined us for an in depth look at the proposed project.      Mr. Berggruen decided not to attend but his staff presented his proposal, followed by discussion     regarding effects on our  community, environment and resources, including safety concerns.

It is fair to confirm the overwhelming support for protecting what is left of our wildlands.

Redtailed Hawks frequent our skies.

Great Horned Owls are ever present.

Scroll to bottom of Home page to sign up for alerts.

Watch out Quail protecting his flock.

Recreational use equals Community Health

Overview

THE PROJECT

International billionaire Nicolas Berggruen is currently planning to build an Institute dedicated to “advancing good governance and environmental stewardship” on the 450+ acres of open space in the former Mission Canyon landfill area of Brentwood hills. The area in question spans from upper Mandeville Canyon to Mountaingate and consists of two ridges: one above Mandeville Canyon, and another north to Mountaingate and south to Mount Saint Mary’s University. Much of this area is open space, including the heavily trafficked Canyonback Trail and Mount Saint Mary’s Fire Road, outdoor treasures which the surrounding communities have fought long and hard to protect.

THE PROBLEM

According to agreements between Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) — a state agency, and the former owners of Berggruen’s property — much of the area currently being discussed for development cannot be developed. Initial plans show serious encroachments into protected land. These protected areas do not belong to a developer, but rather belong to the State of California, held it in trust for future generations. This precious wilderness houses native plants, coyotes, great horned owl, quail, deer, mountain lions, etc. Overdevelopment of these lands present significant other immediate risks to the community — from fire hazards and higher traffic to increased noise and light pollution.

We use these trails on our open space, A LOT!

These video takes were recorded in a 1 hour period!

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Impacts

If Nicolas Berggruen is successful in building his new institute, it may have meaningful and long lasting negative consequences – not only for the surrounding neighborhoods – but on the Los Angeles region as a whole. Below are four key impacts:

Fire Hazard

This development is in an area designated as a “very high fire hazard severity zone”. Fire risks are exacerbated by the proposed construction of roads and buildings on top of a former landfill. The Mission Canyon landfills, while closely monitored by the City, have seen repeated methane gas leaks occurred over the years. And leaks like this frequently lead to fires. In the USA there

Increased Traffic

With a proposed 250 seat auditorium and parking for 400 cars, this project will impact traffic on Sunset, Sepulveda, and the 405. High profile visitors may be required to have police escorts, motorcades and possibly even road closures for protection. This will not be under the control of the Berggruen Institute, but will be a requirement. In the event of an emergency, the traffic strain will be even more pronounced due to the radically increased numbers of evacuees.

Environmental Effects

The land in question is undeveloped. Its development would remove dedicated public land and hiking trails. Furthermore, this project could lead to major biological consequences due to habitat alteration. Such issues include the elimination of fauna and flora, as well as the destruction of a vital north/south wildlife corridor that allows migration of larger species, such as mountain lions, bobcats, etc.

Noise & Light Pollution

Visiting dignitaries may be ferried in and out by helicopter. Unfortunately, helicopter noise resounds along canyon walls, drastically impacting the quality of life for residents of Mandeville, Kenter and Bundy canyons, as well as for many homeowners in Mountaingate, Bel Air, and other neighboring communities. Additionally, light pollution could negatively impact surrounding homeowners, as well as be detrimental to wildlife.

Information

Research posted here is science based fact with realtime effect on quality of life issues.

This segment us under construction – Sign Up to be notified of updates.

Property Maps

Fire & Methane

Mr. Joe Edmiston of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy which oversees the parklands all around us, says that “homes on property which has twice burned should be purchased by the state and never developed again”. 

Mr. Berggruen’s land has been visited by wildfire at least three times!

Do we want this in our neighborhood, AGAIN?

Stakeholders

“SMMC was established by the California State Legislature in 1980. Since that time, it has helped to preserve over 73,000 acres of parkland in both wilderness and urban settings, and has improved more than 114 public recreational facilities throughout Southern California..”

http://www.smmc.ca.gov/

Santa Monica
Mountains Conservancy
State of California

“Santa Monica Mountains’ Trails

Access for all”

http://www.canyonback.org/

Canyon Back
Alliance
501(c)(3) Non-Profit

“Mountaingate Open Space Maintenance Association is an active Californian business entity incorporated 18th May 1977. Carol Tolchin acts as the agent for this non-profit. The last statement filed for this domestic non-profit entity was 1st May 2017.”

https://www.californiaexplore.com/company/00816927/mountaingate-open-space-maintenance-association

Mountaingate Open Space
Maintenance Association
Homeowners Association

Our Request:

Protect Our Wildlands

Mr. Berggruen should consider locating his new institute in a part of Los Angeles that is already developed, eliminating the risks outlined above and preserving this 450+ acres of precious wild-land, wild animal corridor, natural habitat and trails forever.

 

#StopBerggruen

Nicolas Berggruen’s project presents too many risks for our community and needs to be stopped!

Sign up now to signal your support for this position and to stay informed.

Please, Help Us!

Vote with your feet,
your voice and support
quality of life action.

15 + 7 =

Protect Our Wildlands, Environment and Resources

P  O  W  E  R

PO Box 49495, Los Angeles, CA 90049
msg: 310.472.3532 – mobile/text/voice: 303.444.4684
power@ProtectOurWildlands.org – https://ProtectOurWildlands.org

The Berggruen Think Tank, Namvar in Sullivan Canyon and the Ballona Wetlands have all made it to critical stages of necessary defense. 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The map below provides specific locations.

Berggruen Project

Overdevelopment in neighborhood zone, encroachment in protected areas, extreeme fire danger.

Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve

The State of California just certified the Final EIR to bulldoze the entire Ballona Wetlands site

Namvar - Sullivan Canyon

Sullivan Equity Partners (SEP), has been trying to secure the City’s  permission to build two 15,000-square-foot mansions 

POWER