LOS ANGELES-The state has agreed to pay $14.5 million for 392 acres of prime land at the crest of the Santa Monica Mountains, putting the oak-and-sage-covered terrain forever away from development.

The acreage straddles an eight-mile stretch of the unpaved part of Mulholland Drive, about a mile from busy Topanga Canyon Boulevard. The state plans to use the land as a gateway for hikers and other residents of the San Fernando Valley to access small trails that snake through more remote parkland areas.

The 392 acres were actually purchased in two separate transactions. In one, state officials acquired 68 acres south of Mulholland Drive from EPAC Woodland Hills Partners LLC, a partnership that was planning to build luxury homes on the site. The other 324 acres were purchased from privately held Mulholland Hills Associates.

Most of the money for the purchase will come from a $2.1-billion parks bond issue that California voters approved last year, state officials say.

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