Blumenfield Launches Effort to Preserve Bothwell Ranch, Last Citrus Orchard in the Valley

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion for the LA City Council to consider the Bothwell Ranch, located at 5300 N. Oakdale Avenue, Tarzana, as a City Historic-Cultural Monument. The Bothwell Ranch has been part of the West Valley since owner Lindley Bothwell purchased the lot in 1926 to grow Valencia and Navel oranges for residents of the Valley to enjoy. Consistent with an architectural assessment from SurveyLA, the City’s Historic Resources Survey, Councilmember Blumenfield is taking action to try and preserve the Bothwell Orchard.

“For nearly a century, the Bothwell Ranch which straddles Tarzana and Woodland Hills has been a        family-operated enterprise that has captured the spirit of the West Valley,” said Blumenfield. “As a representative of our Valley community, it is my duty to help retain our Valley-identity. That starts by holding onto our special landmarks like the Bothwell Ranch.”

Much has changed since the Bothwell family first bought the 100-acre land in 1926. Los Angeles’ agricultural parcels have disappeared throughout the City as housing booms took land from farmers and their vast acreage. The Bothwell Ranch has survived decades of rising property values and has shrunk in size to now only include 13 acres of land.

“If the City does not take steps today to preserve the last remaining citrus grove, it will likely be lost forever,” said Blumenfield. “We cannot afford to lose the orchard and all that comes with it-- from its lush, open green space, to its thousands of trees that reduce the City’s carbon footprint—the Bothwell Ranch is both an ecological asset and a piece of Valley history. What used to be a farming community is now largely gone. Who will remember it if we don’t stand up to preserve this historic agricultural orchard?”

If this property becomes a City Historic-Cultural Monument, developers will be required to go through a City review process before making any changes to the property.

According to Section 22.171.10 of the Administrative Code, the City Council may initiate consideration of a proposed site as a Historical-Cultural Monument. Councilmember Blumenfield has introduced this motion to urge the Council to consider this property as culturally historic.

If this motion is passed, the Council will instruct the Planning Department to prepare an application for review that will be considered by the Cultural Heritage Commission. After reviewing the application, the Cultural Heritage Commission will submit its report with recommendations back to the Council so they may proceed with designations.

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