Donald Trump Turns Over 11.5-acre Easement in Rancho Palos Verdes for Open Space

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Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes to announce a conservation easement grant to the Peninsula Land Conservancy to protect 11.5 acres as open space for scenic enjoyment and public use.

Appearing before a crowd of community leaders Thursday in the clubhouse at its seaside luxury golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, mogul Donald Trump had news of a recent closed deal.

Instead of building 16 homes for the 11.5 acre coastal and Catalina Island driving ranges, the club has granted land use to the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy to protect the site from development. “It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a year, maybe a little longer than one year, and I decided to pull the trigger and do it,” Trump said, adding that giving up the land rights “wasn’t an easy matter, because it’s worth a lot more than $25 million.”

The easement protects the land and prohibits harmful property use, such as dumping (and) landfills and has restrictions on waste and impermeable flooring among many other objects, according to a press release.

The beautiful open space and scenic values that are provided to the community through this facilities are excellent and that all can enjoy for many generations, said Andrea Vone, Managing Director of Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy. In addition to giving up the right to develop the homes, Trump will make annual contributions to the conservation of the site, according to President Bill Swank.

Rancho Palos Verdes Councilman Jerry Duhovic described the acreage, which will remain a driving range, as “one of the last, largest, most visible and valuable pieces of land on the Rancho Palos Verdes coastline.”

Luxury homes exist on the other side of the 261-acre property, which Trump purchased for $27 million in 2002 after a landslide sent the golf course’s 18th hole into the ocean.

Mayor Pro Tem Susan Brooks said while previous developers of the golf course spoke of being dedicated to open space, “only you, Mr. Trump, put your money where your mouth is.”