Last year, the Echo Park-based Church of the Foursquare Gospel revealed that it wanted to build as many as 40 houses on a hilltop it owns between Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights (the space is known as Flattop). Neighbors were predictably unhappy about losing their open space, and now Councilmember Gil Cedillo is moving to help keep the land undeveloped instead--he's helping the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and its partner, Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, buy the space from the church in hopes of using the whole parcel to "create a natural park for the Montecito Heights-Lincoln Heights community." Since the church's initial announcement last year, there had been an effort from community organizers like the Montecito Heights Improvement Association to preserve the land, ideally by finding a buyer for it who would was interested in keeping it as public wilderness. There is no word yet if the church is seriously considering the Conservancy's proposal, but they have said before that they were interested in other plans for the space. The area has been untouched since the church bought it more than 80 years ago, and has become a popular hiking and lookout spot next to, but not officially part of, Debs Park.
· Foursquare Church Wants to Build 30 Houses in Montecito Hgts. [Curbed LA]
· Officials consider preserving Montecito Heights hilltop development site as open space [The Eastsider LA]