With New Legal Authority, County Takes Next Steps Toward Returning Bruce’s Beach
San Pedro, CA — Today, with new legal authority granted by a recently passed State law, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took the first official steps toward returning the property known as Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce.
“The Governor signing SB 796 was a historic and pivotal moment in our effort to return Bruce’s Beach, but let’s be clear, that bill did not actually transfer the land,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “That is the soul responsibility of the County, and specifically, the responsibility of this Board. My goal over the next several months will be to transfer this property in a way that not only works for the Bruce family, but is a model that other local governments can follow. Returning Bruce’s Beach can and should set a precedent for this nation and I know that all eyes will be on Los Angeles County as this work gets underway.”
“I am proud to support the return of Bruce’s Beach to the Bruce family heirs. Today’s motion gives the County the authority to accept the land back from the state and ensure we have a process for vetting potential heirs of the Bruce family. I am committed to doing all we can to get this right” shared Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “This action provides us with the first of hopefully many opportunities to repair past harms. I look forward to the County continuing to actualize our anti-racist policy agenda with significant steps like this.”
The motion, authored by Hahn and co-authored by Supervisor Holly Mitchell and approved unanimously today, instructs the County Chief Executive Office to do three things:
- Coordinate with the State Department of Parks and Recreation to receive the amended deed (in line with SB 796). (Note: The State has until the end of 2021 to amend the deed)
- Prepare and present to the Board the resolution of acceptance for the amended deed upon receipt
- Pursue an expeditious process in determining legal heirship, in cooperation with the Treasurer and Tax Collector's Public Administrator, in order to identify and vet potential claimants and report back to the Board when the vetting process is concluded.
After legal heirs are confirmed, the County can enter official discussions with the family to determine how best to transfer the property.