- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Activists vowed to keep fighting after a court sided with a developer who has tried for years to keep hikers from using a trail that cuts across scenic property he owns in Los Angeles.

The appellate court last week ruled that Mohamed Hadid has the right to restrict access to the land in Franklin Canyon between the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (https://lat.ms/2aGTmNR). Hadid, who has built more than a dozen Ritz-Carlton hotels around the globe, hopes to build homes on the property.

He said he was relieved by the court’s decision. “This has been very costly for me, mentally and financially over the years,” Hadid told the newspaper.

Hadid has been embroiled in a legal battle with activists fighting to keep the Hastain Trail open to the public.

His lawyers successfully appealed a lower court’s ruling, arguing that just because people have been allowed to walk on the land for decades doesn’t mean they should have a right to it.

But the battle isn’t over for the Friends of the Hastain Trail group, which plans to seek a rehearing. And if that doesn’t work, it will petition the California Supreme Court, said the group’s leader, Ellen Scott. The 58-year-old said she has been hiking the trail since she was in her 20s and was shocked by the court’s ruling.

“When I got the email, I was shaking,” Scott said. “It’s a beautiful trail. People have been hiking it for 50 years.”

The land, which Hadid has owned since 2002, is zoned for up to 13 houses and covers about 100 acres.

Hadid said that allowing strangers to walk on private property brings various liabilities. He expressed concerns about hikers leaving trash and getting injured.

“If someone falls, it’s your responsibility,” he said.

Still, he said he does not plan to totally block the hikers out. He wants to gift some of the land to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which manages the nearby Franklin Canyon Park, and create an alternate trail loop for hikers.


Information from: Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com/

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide