Welcome to SCOPE's first monthly email:
Santa Clarita Valley, North Los Angeles County
Don't worry, we absolutely promise NOT to overwhelm your email box with posts. But we thought you would like to know what we are up to, and snail mail is just way too expensive and usually way too slow. So here is our attempt to stay connected with you and keep you update on local conservation and planning issues. Hope you like it!
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A Holiday Gift from our Planning Agencies?
Every year as the holidays approach it seems that the number of large projects moving through the City and the County public planning process increase in number. One can only surmise that this phenomena is due to a hope on the part of developers that the public will be busy with friends, family and holiday cheer and thus not paying attention to local politics and land use planning.
This year is no exception. The City has just begun the public process for the Vista Canyon http://www.santa-clarita.com/Index.aspx?page=672 project in the Sand Canyon area. Although the County would only allow 700 units in its jurisdiction for this project, the City is proposing to annex it and nearly double the number of units to 1350. So much for the City’s line that it is the County that continues to approve so many housing units. Comments on the draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) were due by Dec. 3, 2010. The hearings themselves will continue into next year.
This project will fill the flood plan and requires a general plan amendment at the very time the City is updating its general plan. Why is a project that requires a general plan amendment being rushed through right before this extensive plan revision? One can only wonder.
Mission Village, the 4400 unit second tract in Newhall Ranch received its first hearing on Wednesday, Nov.10th. Landmark Village, the 1444 unit first phase has still not been approved, and neither project has received permission to alter the Santa Clara River in this sensitive area west of I-5, but the county is moving forward. The comment period was extended to Jan 4th, with a final hearing scheduled for March 16th.
One Valley One Vision, (which really must not be one valley or one vision because there are two gigantic and separate planning documents), is also underway. With hearings set before both the City (comment period previously closed Dec 22nd, but the Planning Commission extended the comment period for another 45 days after our request at its Tuesday hearing that lasted until after midnight ) and the County (comment period closes Jan 24th, hearing Dec 8th) on these two separate plans. The public is expected to review thousands of pages in each document. The City will give you a free disc of the Plan and Draft Environmental Impact report for your holiday reading pleasure, available upon request at City Hall.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was written to ensure the public’s knowledge, views and concerns would be included in the planning process. Undisclosed problems brought to the attention of the decision-makers and requirements that would reduce impacts of new development on the environment and the community have resulted in better projects because of this law.
It appears that between these four projects, the public is expected to review some 60,000 to 70,000 pages immediately before and during the holiday period. Because of the importance of public involvement in the planning process, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment (SCOPE) has asked both the City and County to extend the comment period on these four projects into the new year.
If you would like to help us participate in any of these project reveiws, just send an email to email@example.com.
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