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Return to California City, Where the Land is Owned By Dead People

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Another wanderer finds his way to California City, the state's third largest city by land area, master-planned in the fifties by a Columbia sociologist and never fully populated. This time it's an LA Times reporter and he comes back bearing strange facts. Like that California City has "its own school district and public bus service but no hotel or chain grocery" and "The police chief is also the director of parks and recreation." During the latest boom, California City sold its land via late-night infomercial, and people actually bought that land for as much as $20,000. Now, says the paper, "those lots cost $3,000 again. Graded flat, they make good weekend camping sites." Eeriest of all, the city manager says "We have people coming to the planning department all the time saying, 'Someone in my family owns a lot here and they willed it to us. Where is it?'" [A neighborhood near downtown via the LAT]
· Meet California City, the Rival Los Angeles Didn't Know It Had [Curbed LA]
· A desert city that didn't fan out [LAT]