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Topanga Canyon Boulevard May Become A State Scenic Highway

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors said today that it will ask the state to designate a portion of Topanga Canyon Boulevard a state scenic highway.

"Thousands and thousands of visitors to Topanga State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area enjoy access via Topanga Canyon Boulevard to the wild lands and beaches of this stunningly beautiful corner of our state," said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who recommended the designation.

More than three-quarters of a million people annually drive the 12 miles through the Topanga Creek Watershed, according to a resolution passed by the board in support of the plan.

The portion of the thoroughfare in question runs south from the county line with Ventura County, where it overlooks the San Fernando Valley, to Pacific Coast Highway.

It was originally a two-lane country road for horses and wagons, cut through the mountains in the late 19th century, and running parallel to Topanga Creek, according to board documents. It includes wide-open vistas, massive rock formations, a diverse collection of plant life and "architectural treasures," such as a 1929-era bridge over the creek.

"Topanga Canyon Boulevard (state Route 27), in western Los Angeles county is one of the state's most spectacular public mountain highways, stretching from the Santa Monica Mountain foothills of the San Fernando Valley through the mountains to the Pacific Ocean," a resolution approved by the board read in part. State legislators established the California Scenic Highway Program in 1963.

An official scenic highway requires a governing body to protect it by prohibiting billboards, preserving views and limiting noise, for example. Other state scenic highways include coastal Highway One in Monterey County and state Route 78 in San Diego.

The board directed staffers to work with Caltrans, the state agency responsible for transportation, on the designation.

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