Dispute Over Japanese Garden Escalates

BEL AIR—The fate of a famed Bel Air property and garden has stirred an ongoing dispute that may be settled in a courtroom.

The property, first given to UCLA in 1964 by Edward W. Carter and Hannah Locke Carter, is located on Siena Way and Bellagio Road.

Featuring a Georgian-style Colonial house and Japanese garden, one famous for delivering zen-like tranquility to its visitors, the property has historically been a popular attraction for people craving a taste of premier North American architecture and landscaping.

The property was originally donated to UCLA under the premise that the institution would maintain the garden, and eventually, use the proceeds from the sale of the home to fund certain professorships and endowments.

However, following the university’s decision to close the garden and auction the property’s living quarters, the Carter-family heirs sued the institution, halting the sale of the home until conditions guaranteeing the preservation of the garden were met.

Both the University Regents and the heirs have failed to agree upon terms, a reality that may yet again land both parties in court. The case is scheduled to go to trial in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica.

The garden is famed for the power of bringing its visitors zen-like tranquility.

It is possible that the two parties will agree upon a settlement between now and the upcoming July court date.

Four prior mediation sessions have failed to yield a compromise between the battling parties.