An unpaved path along the Westchester bluffs near Playa Vista that is popular with pedestrians and dog walkers in the area has also become a passage for some people to trespass onto the bluffs.
But police and officials at Playa Vista say they are hoping that increased patrol around Cabora Road, east of Lincoln Boulevard, will help keep people and off-leash dogs away from the bluffs.
In recent months Cabora Road has become an access point for some people to go onto the hillside bluffs, which has led to damage of the plants and brush and an increased potential for erosion, Playa Vista officials said. Some dog walkers using the path have also allowed their pets to roam off-leash on the road, sometimes getting onto the private bluff property.
The incidents have led Playa Vista officials, Westchester residents, police and representatives of City Councilman Bill Rosendahl to step up enforcement of existing trespassing and dog-leash laws in the area.
Playa Vista spokesman Steve Sugerman said officials had tried in the past to do “softer outreach” to warn people to stay off the bluffs, including putting up signs and patrolling the area on a sporadic basis. But the bluffs continued to be accessed and the incidents reached a “crescendo point,” he said.
“In order to be responsive to the neighbors we felt that we needed to do something more active,” Sugerman said.
In addition to the damage of plants and brush with people trespassing on the bluffs, concrete drainage devices have been vandalized with graffiti and some youths reportedly used mattresses to slide down the hill, he noted.
A six-foot chain-link fence was recently installed along the southern side of Cabora Road to help with the protection of the Westchester bluff area. Police and Playa Vista officials hope that the fence, which has signs listing the trespassing and dog-leash laws, will help prevent damage to the land.
Officials note that while they are stepping up enforcement of the laws, pedestrians are welcome to walk on Cabora Road. Dogs can also be walked on the path, but they need to be leashed at all times.
Private Playa Vista security officers will patrol the bluff area from Lincoln Boulevard toward Centinela Avenue daily from dawn to dusk, and will work with the Los Angeles Police Department on enforcement of the trespassing and dog-leash laws.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Officer Heidi Llanes of the Pacific Division said police plan to initially give warnings to visitors to make them aware of the enforcement, but if the incidents continue to occur, they will issue citations.
“We’re hoping it will make everyone aware that there’s a leash law and hopefully it’ll stop the problem before we have to issue citations,” Llanes said. “The Los Angeles Police Department is committed to working with Playa Capital Company, Councilmember Rosendahl and the local community to ensure the protection of the Westchester bluffs and to promote safety for all people who walk along Cabora Road with or without their dogs.”
Rosendahl also called the increased enforcement plan a “win-win solution” for both residents and visitors.
Although dogs must be leashed on Cabora Road, the councilman, who supports having more off-leash sites in the local area, pointed out that Playa Vista has two parks where dogs can roam unleashed.
“Playa Capital Company has provided two dog parks in the community and has worked with the neighborhood to protect the bluffs area along Cabora Road,” Rosendahl said.