Judge Rules Developer Must Allow Hikers
Path on private land must stay open
A judge has ruled that a Los Angeles real estate developer must allow hikers on the trail that cuts across his private property in Franklin Canyon. The popular Hastain Trail has been open to the public since before 1972, the last year that the law allowed private property to be presumed to be for public use if members of the public had been using it for five or more consecutive years. Mohamed Hadid, who purchased the 97 acres and has expressed interest in building luxury Mediterranean-style homes on the property, has attempted to block access to the trail and its access to a small peak with barricades and fencing. Eric Edmunds, attorney for the hikers, environmentalists, and mountain bikers that sued for restored access, said he thought that the judge’s visit to the trail, at the request of the plaintiffs, swayed her opinion. “Once she actually saw the trail, once she saw the panoramas and views, she knew right away what was at stake here,” Edmunds said.