HOLLYWOOD HILLS—A project to build a privately funded basketball court in Hollywood’s beloved Runyon Canyon has been put on hold after an outcry from locals. City Council members stepped in to halt the operation.
Local residents filed a lawsuit to block the project because of potential noise and other issues arguing that the city did not follow proper procedures in order to approve the project and also did not give residents enough notice. Residents are concerned about the loud echoing noises that basketball games would cause around the canyon.
City Councilman David Ryu wrote in a statement, “It’s critical to remember that Runyon Canyon is a regional park, used by neighbors who live next door, as well as hikers and dog-lovers from the City and around the world. We must protect Runyon’s unique and beloved qualities, its wildlife habitat, as well as access for millions who visit the park every year.”
Prior approval of the basketball court came in November 2015, when a deal was struck with CEO of the clothing brand Pink+Dolphin, Neima Khaila. The contract indicated that Khaila would pay for the construction of a much-needed retaining wall at the park, and, in return, the city would build a basketball court at the site of the old tennis court in the canyon. Khaila was donating more than $250,000 for the project and the city was going to put the logo of his company on the newly built basketball court.
The project will now go through a more intensive public input process before construction can move forward.