The Valley VOTE Board of Directors Support the Pierce College Farm

For decades when budget times have been hard, the Pierce College Farm has been threatened with commercial development. Over time the Farm was to become a golf course, shopping mall or residential housing. Dozens of acres have already been sold off. Pierce College began as an agricultural farm after WWII and sits on 426 acres, over half of which is a farm. Forty-one million acres of rural land in the United States have been permanently lost in the last 25 years to highways, shopping malls, poorly planned sprawl and other development, according to a new analysis by the American Farmland Trust. Recently, there was an uproar in the media and by the local community due to the threat of more land being sold for commercial development. Over 10,000 members of the Woodland Hills community signed petitions asking us to “protect the farm.”

To that end, we would like to ask the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Pierce College to please fully support this resolution asking for a feasibility study to determine the potential impact of either an agricultural conservation easement (that would prevent commercial development in perpetuity) or an equivalent protection (including a simple deed restriction) that would ensure the community and the college that our farm is safe and ensure donors that contributing to the growing Pierce College Farm Endowment is money well spent. Please endorse the following resolution:

“Be it resolved that the Foundationfor Pierce College supports the following resolution leading toward Permanent Agricultural status for the Pierce College Farm land:
Whereas the Pierce Farm is one of the largest undeveloped piece of land in the San Fernando Valley,
Whereas the Pierce Farm was created and designed to provide agricultural education,
Whereas the Pierce Farm has periodically been threatened with a diminishment of its size and scope,
Whereas the Board of Trustees supports the continued Agricultural Education use of the Farm,
Therefore be it resolved that the Foundation for Pierce College requests that the LACCD Board of trustees ask the Chancellor to utilize the resources needed, internal and external, to develop a feasibility study of the “Permanent Agricultural Protected Land” status options available to the Pierce Farm, including any potential easements, conservancy status, or any other legal options for guaranteeing the permanent protection of this portion of the Pierce College property. Such study shall be completed and reported back to the Board of Trustees no later than September 1, 2015.

The resolution asking the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees to order a study of the feasibility of permanently protecting the Pierce College Farm with a conservation easement or its equivalent has the unanimous support of:

  • The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Pierce College
  • The faculty unions at all nine colleges, Los Angeles Community College District (by unanimous vote of the eBoard)
  • The Associated Students Organization (ASO) of Pierce College
  • The Academic Policy Committee of Pierce College (all department chairs at the college)
  • The Academic Senate of Pierce College
  • Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, 34 Neighborhood Councils in San Fernando Valley
  • The Board of Directors of Valley VOTE