Runyon Canyon neighbors file lawsuit over basketball court
During the four-month closure of Runyon Canyon so LADWP can repair water pipes, the popular hiking spot was supposed to get a corporate-branded basketball court, reports the LA Times.
But several neighbors and Runyon regulars who said they had no idea about the basketball court have filed a lawsuit, KTLA reports.
Attorney Rob Glushon, who is representing a coalition of neighbors, told KTLA on Tuesday that there was “no notice to the community, no notice to the neighborhood council and a basketball court is actually against the city’s own master plan. This is a wilderness park, hiking trail and an offleash dog park.”
Community group Runyon Canyon Defenders opposes the basketball court and supports the lawsuit. Another group, Citizens Preserving Runyon, is also part of the lawsuit, according to the LA Times.
In November, city recreation and parks commissioners approved a deal with Neima Khaila, CEO of the Pink + Dolphin apparel company. A Runyon regular, Khaila will donate about $260,000 and pay to build the court, which will be emblazoned with a Pink + Dolphin logo. It's a project Parks and Recreation couldn't afford to fund on its own.
The proposal calls for resurfacing an unused concrete tennis court, replacing a crumbling retaining wall and installing basketball equipment and a water fountain, NBC4 reported.
In a Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council meeting on April 4, community members expressed outrage that the city hadn't solicited their feedback beforehand and had approved the plan without an environmental impact report, according to the LA Times.
"It's a hiking trail not a sporting recreation facility," Anastasia Mann, president of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, tells NBC4.
The council unanimously voted against the basketball court at the end of the April 4 meeting.
While many meeting attendees also claimed the nonprofit Friends of Runyon Canyon didn’t notify them about the basketball court, FORC vice president and treasurer Don Andres said at the meeting that the group worked with city officials through the planning process and posted 6,000 notices around the neighborhood last year.
FORC posted the following photo to Instagram on March 19, thanking Pink + Dolphin for building the court.