San Fernando Valley residents try to preserve area's last commercial orange grove

TARZANA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Elizabeth Kahn is a lot younger than the orange grove she is trying to save. But it's been a part of her life since she was a kid, growing up in the San Fernando Valley.

So, when she found out the Bothwell Ranch in Tarzana was up for sale and possibly being replaced with multi-million dollar homes, she started a petition

"I was sad because I don't want to see the 2,000 orange trees killed," Khan said.

So far, the young environmentalist - whose family still lives near the ranch - has gathered more than 1,300 signatures.

"A real opportunity to transform this land into not only a learning and community center but also a local food resource for the community and as well as maybe a carbon offsetting project," Khan said.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield also stepped in to help. Blumenfield introduced a motion to declare it a historic monument.

"It does put an immediate stop to any building permits so that whatever is proposed for this site will have to go through extra scrutiny to maintain the historical and environmental integrity," Blumenfield said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Bothwell Ranch but they declined our request for an interview.

Blumenfield said the city doesn't get to decide what happens to the property, but he hopes the process yields a result that is better for the community and San Fernando Valley.

Khan said she's meeting with the councilman next week and the 26-year-old is not giving up yet.

"I started this with the notion that I can say I tried," she said.
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