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Work stops on Runyon Canyon basketball court

LOS ANGELES — Construction work has been halted on a basketball court at Runyon Canyon that has prompted criticism — and legal action — from neighbors, Councilman David Ryu announced April 21.

The project was the target of a lawsuit filed last week by the group Citizens Preserving Runyon that accused the city of failing to adhere to the proper approval process.

Ryu said the Department of Recreation and Parks has agreed to halt construction on the project, and Recreation and Parks commissioners will be asked to reconsider the project. Work on a retaining wall had begun, according to Ryu aide Estevan Montemayor.

“This project was initiated before I became the council member of the Fourth District and it is clear that community concern regarding this project needs more robust consideration prior to any further action,” Ryu said.

Residents and park users have complained that they did not receive enough notice about the project, which was to be built during the four-month closure of Runyon Canyon to accommodate the repair of old water pipes.

They also expressed distaste at plans for the basketball court, which would bear the logo of the street apparel company Pink Dolphin, whose CEO donated money to the project.

Bob Mansell, who leads Citizens Preserving Runyon, thanked Ryu, saying that the councilman “demonstrated his commitment to due process.”

“We look forward to a new public hearing where community residents and park users can be heard,” Mansell said.

The attorney for the group, Rob Glushon, said they were planning to go to court April 22 to argue in favor of a restraining order to stop the project, but have withdrawn the request in light of Ryu’s announcement.

Montemayor said the councilman knew the basketball court was being built, but was not around when it was approved.

Ryu hopes to restart the approval process for the project, Montemayor said. They are aiming to make sure neighborhood councils, nearby residents and other stakeholders are notified of opportunities to weigh in on various aspects of the project, including whether there should be a logo and to potentially explore alternative ideas for the site, which is currently a tennis court.

 

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