Monday, July 24

UCLA comes to settlement over sale of Hannah Carter Japanese Garden


UCLA reached an agreement over the disputed sale of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air, officials announced Wednesday. (Daily Bruin file photo)

UCLA reached an agreement over the disputed sale of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air, officials announced Wednesday. (Daily Bruin file photo)


This post was updated on Oct. 1 at 6:06 p.m.

UCLA reached an agreement over the disputed sale of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air, officials announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement, UCLA would be able to sell the property, but must ensure that the new owner preserves the garden for at least 30 years, according to a UCLA statement.

UCLA bought the garden from a third party with the help of former UC Board of Regents chair Edward Carter and his wife Hannah in a 1964 gift agreement. Carter also committed to donate the house next to the garden following his death.

Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement in 2012 the 1964 agreement allowed UCLA to sell the garden and the residence.

In November 2011, UCLA announced that it would sell the garden and the house because of the maintenance costs, lack of parking and lack of a teaching or research purpose.

Landscaping and maintenance of the garden cost more than $200,000 annually. Block said that this led to a shortfall of $100,000 annually to UCLA.

UCLA officials said that the sale of the garden would bring UCLA about $4.2 million, which would be used to fund professorships and other campus priorities.

However, Hannah Carter’s children sued the UC Regents in May 2012, claiming officials violated an agreement to maintain and preserve the garden.

Two months later, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge halted the sale of the garden.

UCLA said in Wednesday’s statement that both parties are happy with the outcome of the settlement.

“Both sides feel it is a fair and reasonable settlement and look forward to working together to fulfill the terms of the settlement,” UCLA officials said.

James Caldwell, Hannah Carter’s son, said in an email statement even though the settlement took four years to reach, he and his family are happy with the outcome.

He added they are hopeful the buyer will be able to preserve the garden and grant a conservation easement, which would preserve the garden indefinitely by law. He said they also hope the garden can be accessible to the public.

“We are optimistic that the best possible long range preservation of the garden will be in the private hands of a lover of gardens,” he said.

Compiled by Roberto Luna Jr., Bruin senior staff.

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