New Owner of Former Will Reid Scout Park (47th St./Daisy to L.A. River) Considering Residential Development That Could Offer Homes For Sale; Nearby Residents Riled By Recent Treetop Trim (See Pix) That Owner Says Was Maintenance To Abate Possible Hazard As Some Trees Overtopped Power Lines

(Nov. 16, 2013, 9:25 a.m.) -- has learned that the new owner of the former Will J. Reid Scout Park (4747 Daisy Ave., north of RR tracks, east of L.A. river) is considering but hasn't yet finalized plans for a residential development that could offer new homes for sale.

At the same time, neighboring residents were recently riled by very visible tree trimming (that some might call top-chopping, see photos below) affecting a number of Eucalyptus trees along the western property line adjoining the L.A. river path. A representative of the new owner, Integral Communities (an OC-based diversified real estate firm) told several days ago that the tree work isn't wholesale tree removal (no clear-cutting) but maintenance to deal with a possible safety hazard posed by treetops that had grown above adjoining power lines...and to deal with some trees on the property that were also diseased,

(Sale of the roughly 11+ acre property by the Long Beach Area Boy Scout Council was previously reported by with coverage here.)

The Integral Communities rep said the company is considering developing the property to offer residential properties for sale but added that its plans aren't finalized and whatever is ultimately done will involve City Hall approval.

What type of residential properties is the firm considering? The company rep indicated it's looking at stand-alone homes for sale, not condos, but again added that nothing is final at this point and City entitlements (approvals) will be required. [ believes the property is currently zoned institutional, not residential.]

A link on the company's website displays some of Integral Communities' developments elsewhere.

As for the tree trimming, the Integral Communities rep (contacted by us in response to a reader report, thank you) said some trees along the western property line near electrical wires were indeed being trimmed back, but not clear-cut or removed, because the trees' tops had overtopped the electrical wires and posed a possible safety hazard (and added that some of the trees on the property were also diseased.)

Some residents were dismayed at what they saw...and on Nov. 15, retired 8th district Councilwoman Rae Gabelich learned what was taking place, went to the site and emailed us the photos below.

Photo via Rae Gabelich

Photo via Rae Gabelich

Photo via Rae Gabelich

Photo via Rae Gabelich

Photo via Rae Gabelich

Photo via Rae Gabelich

As previously reported by in April 2013, the LB Area Boy Scout Council offered an option to purchase the property for $4.85 million to the Trust for Public Land -- presumably for open space/park type purposes -- but the option expired without being exercised. The LB Area Boy Scout Council then listed the property on the open market, resulting in its sale to Integral Communities for $6 million.

A non-binding "Riverlink" plan envisioned in 2007, currently occupying a City Hall webpage and periodically cited by City Hall officialdom, recommended "that the site be considered for acquisition as an open space destination, if it is ever proposed for conversion to another use."

In the 2012 election cycle, 8th district Council candidate (and Water Replenishment Boardmember) Lillian Kawasaki sought to facilitate an open-space/parklike outcome for the property but the efforts didn't come to fruition. Ms. Kawasaki was outpolled by Al Austin; he took office in mid-July 2012 as Ms. Gabelich exited under term limits. (Ms. Kawasaki succumbed to cancer in July 2013.)

The Will J. Reid Scout Park had been part of the Long Beach Boy Scout Council for over 65 years. Familiar to generations of LB-area Boy Scouts, and nearby residents and riverbank joggers/bicyclists who viewed it as parkland/open space, it included a gated pool, two large conference rooms, a full kitchen, two smaller classrooms, a bowl for campfires and parking. began reporting this story in June, 2010, when discussion about possibly selling the property created controversy within the Boy Scouts.

The Will J. Reid Scout Park is on the north side of RR tracks on the east bank of the L.A. river. Virginia Country Club is south of the RR tracks. USGS photo

Image source: LB Area Council of Boy Scouts of America

An Oct. 10, 2013 emailing to Scouting families stated:

[Email text] Earlier this month, our board - working with our broker Inco Commercial Realty and other community leaders - completed the sale of Will J. Reid Scout Park. This transaction meets our long term objective of maximizing the return on the sale and finding a buyer with a commitment to enhancing our community.

As most of you are aware, over the last four years the Long Beach Area Council has struggled to find solutions to our ongoing operating budget deficits. After several attempts to find a buyer who could help preserve the park, the board decided to list the property on the open market. Careful consideration was given to find the best candidate who could meet the needs of the council and who could be a good partner in the neighboring community.

As directed by our council executive board, the net proceeds from the sale will bolster the council's endowment and, most importantly, will allow us to focus on delivering additional quality programs at Camp Tahquitz [in the San Bernardino Mountains] and at the Sea Scout Aquatics Center [in Alamitos Bay.]

The most exciting opportunity is continuing our aggressive efforts to improve Camp Tahquitz, the Sea Scout Aquatics Center, and our Council Service Center...

In an April 2013 mass emailing to Scouting families that in listing the property for sale, the LB Area Council's leadership indicated it sought to continue to keep its original objectives in mind:

  • 1) Maximize our return on the property to bolster our investment pool and allow us to upgrade other facilities.

  • 2) Seek to preserve the property as open space and allow for continued usage of the property (especially for camping activities).

  • 3) Keep the name of Will J. Reid somehow associated with the property.

The bottom line: the former Reid Boy Scout property, acquired by a real estate firm, now awaits the company's proposed plans which will require City Hall review and approvals. They will likely reach a new City Council majority taking office in the 2014 election cycle (districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.)

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