3/16/07 Background: Elephant Hills History

If you're asking "what's an Elephant Hill ?" Here's the answer:
Elephant Hills are a 115 acre range of rolling, grass covered foothills wedged in between South Pasadena and Los Angeles. With Hill Drive [South Pasadena] to the north, Huntington Drive [El Sereno] to the south, Collis Ave and the Arroyo Seco to the west and Van Horne Ave and Alhambra to the east. Elephant Hills represent THE largest undeveloped open space in the city of Los Angeles.
Just 10 minutes from downtown, the area is a diamond in the rough, the eastern boundary of the hills abuts one of the poorest sections of El Sereno where the average cost of a home in the most inflated market is still only about 300-450k hence, the 'rough'. The diamond of which I speak is simply the open space and the contrast to the surrounding city that it exemplifies.
Elephant Hills has been used by everyone from goat herders when the city was young to hang gliders and kite flying kids in the late 1960's and 1970's to motocrossers during the infancy of that sport when On Any Sunday you could see dozens of high flying dirt bike riders getting squirrly riding WFO [Wide Full Open] on one side of a hill while at the same time children having box slide races down the slopes and grass bomb wars to claim the prestigious title of king of the hill on the other. The hills (with the exception of the portion within the South Pasadena city limits) have always been private property, left undeveloped as a result of the antiquated grid type division of parcels and the lack of access to all but the fringe properties and the threat of the infamous Long Beach or 710 Freeway extension which has at least one of its proposed routes plotted directly across the easternmost portion of the area.
The hills are owned by many and various private parties some of whom have inherited the land from relatives, some speculative investors a few conservationists and even a few game show contestants who actually won parcels on mid 1960's TV game shows.
The hills got the nickname 'Elephant Hills' from Los Angeles Police helicopter pilots who said that from above the hills look like a herd of elephants and began identifying the area as such.
The fire and noise hazard caused by the often un silenced off road bikes caused locals to demand action be taken by the LAPD in the mid to late 1970's and the areas access was severely hampered by the installation of barricades only accessible by the fire department and DWP.
With the parade of motorcyclists stopped the hills have since been used by the occasional 4 wheeler a few die hard MXers but primarily by hikers and kids who are still amazed by the rural feel of a place so close to the city. These hills are the reason that many of the people who live around them moved here in the first place. The charm they bring may not be appreciated by all who read this story or who have heard of the ongoing battle to preserve them, but believe me when I say there are hundreds of families who have joined the fight to Save Elephant Hills.
The relative recent history of Elephant Hills is one of a fight, a bare knuckle no-holds-barred kick scratch and bite FIGHT. In this corner in the solid platinum trunks with 175 wins all by CKO (Cash Knock Out) 0 Draws and 0 losses Weighing in at a whopping 4.9 million dollar investment, multiple Limited Liability Partnerships, an unscrupulous work ethic, Standing in the vacuum left by his moral values at 2'2" and 7'6" barefoot we have the challenger/developer AKA: GreenHills Investment Co, Southwest Diversified Communities, Monterey Hills Partners LLC, Monterey Hills Investors LLC, Monterey Hills Development Co LLC, Monterey Hills Development Co II LLC, Foote Monterey Hills Partners LLC, El Sereno Hills Partners LLC, Monterey Hills Properties LLC, WDF Monterey LLC, and finally but not by far the last, Mesa Verde Development Inc
[Insert BOOOOO here]
And in this corner in street clothes with no money no lawyers and nothing but a cause to drive them weighing in with hundreds of petition signers a City Councilman or two, multiple Neighborhood Councils, The Mayor, The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Audubon Society and several additional groups and organizations, standing a tall 6'2" in stocking feet fighting for the rights of human beings everywhere with 0 Wins 0 Draws and 0 losses the contender...Save Elephant Hills !

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