From the early days of the Hollywoodland Development, a “fire road” existed at 3180 Hollyridge Dr with a simple chain blocking vehicular traffic and opened only to LAFD and Park Rangers. There were large areas open on either side that pedestrians used as their access to Griffith Park. This was the Hollyridge Trail. With no notification to the community, the owner of that property decided to develop it. No one realized that this access was actually over an existing undeveloped parcel. See the “History…” link below for the efforts to address this sad moment in Hollywoodland park access history. As a result of these efforts, a new access was cut in response to both neighborhood associations and many of their members. This new link to that Hollyridge Trail has been used ever since.
Fast forward to the new days of digital information (GPS and all). The popularity of this new trailhead brought cars up this roadway and the congestion was such that the entire road was closed while a gate was created to allow only Sunset Ranch cars to enter. There is a pedestrian gate there as well for the hikers. In response to this growing popularity of this trail, the neighbor fought for and won weekend permit parking.
Sunset Ranch felt the need to sue the city because they believe that the pedestrians were blocking hay delivery, etc. They also claim that the security guard turned away some Sunset Ranch clients.
The judge agreed that the guard was out of line but also instructed that the easement (roadway) going to the Hollyridge Trail and Sunset Ranch was to remain open to the public and asked that the city find another link to the Hollyridge Trail closer to the new gate or as close as possible to the former trail on 3180 Hollyridge.
The Deputy City Attorney offered Sunset Ranch a settlement by ordering the trail to be closed to pedestrians. It is very possible that someone in a “client” position gave instructions to the Deputy City Attorney to give away the public’s access to Griffith Park via the Hollyridge Trail. But who? Neither the Councilman nor any parks officials or departments accept responsibility.
Update – The trail is set to close on April 18, 2017 and a rally is planned for those who support open access to the park on Saturday, April 15 at noon at the top of Beachwood.